Free Agent Ryan Bader Officially Inks Bellator MMA Contract, No Debut Scheduled Yet
No surprise here: Ryan Bader is
officially bound for Bellator
Monday, Bellator President Scott Coker
confirmed to MMAJunkie.com that the perennial standout light
heavyweight had signed a multi-fight deal with the promotion. The
terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 33-year-old Bader last fought in November, stepping in for an
Gustafsson to face Antonio
Rogerio Nogueira, whom Bader had previously bested via
unanimous decision at UFC 119 in September 2010. In their second
encounter, Bader pulverized “Minotoro,” stopping him with strikes
on the ground in the third round. It was the final fight on Bader's
Ultimate Fighting Championship contract.
Despite his “Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 victory and compiling a
15-5 mark in the Octagon, Bader never earned a crack at the UFC
light heavyweight title. When he entered free agency, UFC President
Dana White was clear that he didn't expect that to change.
“We had told Ryan Bader he
was good to go,” White said in early February. “We knew he was
going to go to Bellator the entire time. I think Bellator is a good
place for Ryan Bader.
At this point in his career, I think it’s the right move for
Bader has won seven of his last eight bouts dating back to December
2013. His lone loss in that span is to UFC title challenger
Johnson, who knocked him out in 86 seconds in January of last
No date or opponent has been set for the former Arizona State
University wrestler's Bellator debut.
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