|Association||Team Wildman Vale Tudo|
|Weight Class||Middleweight (185 lbs.)|
|Height||6' 3" (191 cm)|
|Style||Wrestling, Judo, Vale Tudo|
|Birth Date||October 13, 1985|
|Fighting Out Of||Victorville, California, USA|
|Bryan Baker Pictures||Bryan Baker's Official Site|
Bryan "The Beast" Baker is an American mixed martial artist who competes as a middleweight. He is associated with Team Wildman Vale Tudo, a mixed martial arts team run by journeyman fighter Thomas Denny. Baker has fought for some well known promotions such as KOTC, WEC, and MFC.
Baker signed with Bellator Fighting Championship (BFC) to compete in their second season's middleweight tournament. He made it to the finals, yet was defeated by TKO (Punches) at the hands of Alexander Shlemenko.
|Record||18 - 5 - 0 (Win – Loss – Draw)|
Baker was born and raised in the High Desert of California, where he was a standout high school wrestler. He later earned a black belt in Judo and now trains in Vale Tudo at the Team Wildman Vale Tudo gym in Denver, Colorado.
- "I'm a fighter pure and simple ... I never really wanted to do anything else," Baker said. "From my first meal until the time I go to sleep, it's all about fighting, all about my career."
Mixed Martial Arts Career
Bryan Baker began competing in professional mixed martial arts in 2007, fighting a total of six times in the year alone, winning every single one. His second and third fights were only 12 days apart from one another. His first four bouts were fought in smaller promotions, before he signed a contract with the WEC.
His WEC debut took place at WEC 30: McCullough vs. Crunkilton against The Ultimate Fighter alumni, Jesse Forbes, whom he defeated via TKO (Punches). Baker next faced Eric Schambari, winning a split decision, at WEC 31: Faber vs. Curran. In Baker's third fight under the WEC banner, he faced Team Quest's Chael Sonnen, who was coming off a failed title shot. The fight took place at WEC 33: Marshall vs. Stann, and Baker would lose his first professional mixed martial arts bout due to a unanimous decision. It should be noted that Baker was a late replacement to face Sonnen, as he was first expected to face off against Logan Clark, who had replaced an injured Nissen Osterneck, whom Baker was first supposed to face at the event.
Leaving the WEC, Baker bounced back from his loss, defeating Gary Padilla at a JG and TKT Promotions event with a unanimous decision. From there, he was a late replacement for WEC-bound Nissen Osterneck, fighting against Spencer Canup, beating his opponent by TKO at 0:58 of the first round. The win earned Baker the Carolina Fight Promotions Middleweight Championship.
In his first bout of 2009, Baker faced off against PRIDE and UFC veteran Rory Singer. The fight took place at MFC 20: Destined for Greatness, being featured on the main card. Right before the bell to end the first round rang, Baker finished Singer off via TKO (Punches). Baker's next bout took place under the Bellator banner, facing the first IFL Middleweight Champion Matt Horwich. The bout was to be Horwich's first fight since being released from the UFC. Baker won his fourth straight victory, his second in a row over better known fighters, defeating Horwich with a unanimous decision.
Baker was rumored to return to the MFC to face another UFC fighter to be released from their obligations from the promotion, former UFC middleweight title challenger Thales Leites at MFC 23: Unstoppable, but the bout never materialized, as Leites was scheduled to face off against Dean Lister instead. Baker would still fight on the event, but instead of Leites, he was scheduled to face off against journeyman Art Santore. The fight went to the judges and Baker won by Decision (Unanimous).
Belator Fighting Championship
His opening round fight took place at BFC: Bellator Fighting Championships 16 on April 29, 2010, where he faced off against Sean Loeffler. Baker went on to dominate from the opening bell, where he overwhelmed from the start. Baker took Loeffler down after a brief standup exchange, and the heavy-handed slugger dropped powerful shots from the top. Loeffler absorbed much of the damage from the bottom while trying to survive, but the onslaught eventually forced him to give up his back, where the fight was stopped by TKO (Punches) at 2:43 of the first round.
Baker advanced to the semifinals, where he faced off against Eric Schambari in a much anticipated re-match of their fight back in 2007 in a WEC event, where Baker won a close Decision (Split). After a solid combination of punches from Baker to open the contest, Schambari pushed in and successfully secured a takedown. The strategy backfired as Baker deftly worked his legs into position for the Triangle Choke. Schambari tried desperately to escape, but the hold was tight and he was forced to tap at 2:29 of the first round. At this point in his career, Schambari had only two career losses, both at the hands of Baker.
Baker next faced Alexander Shlemenko in the tournament finals at Bellator 23. Though Baker had finished both his opponent in dominant fashion in the first round, this time it was Schlemenko who ended the fight in the first. After a few brief exchanges from the two powerful fighters, Shlemenko landed a firm liver shot followed by a combination that left Baker on his back. Shlemenko immediately swarmed and unleashed several massive shots to the prone Baker, forcing the stoppage. Baker was handed the loss by TKO (Punches).
He returned to Bellator in a non-tournament bout, where he faced UFC veteran and current 5150 Combat League and IFC Middleweight title holder Jeremy Horn. Baker battled back from some early trouble, where he fought off an early Guillotine Choke in his bout with Horn, before taking control of the contest for the final two frames, when Horn seemed to slow down. In the end Baker was awarded the Decision (Unanimous).
Championships and Accomplishments
- Black Belt in Judo
- Carolina Fight Promotions Middleweight Champion
- Bellator 2010 Middleweight Tournament Finalist