Jueves, 23 Marcha, 2017

Ryan Bader inks multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA

Getty Images for Tabu Ultra Lounge Getty Images for Tabu Ultra Lounge
Montrelle Montesinos | 21 Marcha, 2017, 00:23

Phil Davis was also a top contender while fighting for the UFC, but signed with Bellator and quickly became the promotions light heavyweight champion.

Bader (22-5), victor of season eight of The Ultimate Fighter, is coming off back-to-back knockout victories over Antonio Rodgerio Nogueira and Ilir Latifi.

Regardless, Bader joins Bellator at an opportune time. The 33-year-old Bader last fought in November, stepping in for an injured Alexander Gustafsson to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, whom Bader had previously bested via unanimous decision at UFC 119 in September 2010.

Before that setback, Bader struggled to gain traction in the UFC's 205-pound division despite a five-fight winning streak that had him rising in the rankings. But after two wins, his career position didn't seem to improve, and he signaled he would fight out his contract and test the open market.

UFC president Dana White all but confirmed Bader would end up with Bellator when he said in early February, "We had told Ryan Bader he was good to go". Bader did show his desire to stay in the UFC but stated that he would entertain offers from other promotions, which is exactly what he did. I think Bellator is a good place for Ryan Bader.

Expect Bader to be officially introduced as a Bellator fighter at Bellator 175 on March 31, and an announcement of his first opponent to come shortly thereafter. I'm 7-1 in my last eight fights, and it's one of those things where I can jump in and fight for the title right away and I don't think there'd be too many people complaining about it.

For more on Bellator's upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.