Ryan Bader Says Leaving UFC is ‘Kind of Bittersweet’

Ryan Bader
Image Credit: Scott Petersen of MMAWeekly.com

Ryan Bader is happy to be a Bellator fighter, but admits it’s a bit tough to leave his old home.

Earlier today (March 20), it was announced that Bader signed with Bellator. “Darth” had been a free agent after having 20 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner.

Bader hasn’t had an opponent, date, or venue announced yet. When he does step inside the Bellator cage, he’ll compete for the first time outside the UFC since April 2008.

Many have speculated that Bader’s first Bellator bout will be for the light heavyweight championship. While nothing has been made official, “Darth” recently suggested having the match-up at Bellator 180 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 24.

During a recent appearance on MMAFighting.com‘s “The MMA Hour,” Bader said he’s glad to be a part of the Bellator roster but he won’t deny having fond memories in the UFC:

“I think it’s one of the better contracts out there, outside of being a UFC champion with pay-per-view points and stuff like that. … Leaving, it’s kind of bittersweet. It’s refreshing, it’s something new heading over to Bellator. But I spent my whole career in the UFC. Looking back, it’s sad, but at the same time it’s refreshing. I’m excited for something new.”

Latest MMA News

Karl Roberson

Karl Roberson Says His Emotions Are ‘All Over The Place’ After UFC Contract

Karl Roberson went from regional prospect to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) newcomer in just 15 seconds. "Baby K" competed at the third event in Dana...
Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg Claims Relationship with Dana White is ‘Getting Fixed’

Jon Jones isn't the only UFC 214 fighter not on the greatest of terms with UFC president Dana White. Over the years, White - and...
video

UFC 214: Tyron Woodley Vows to Submit Demian Maia

Asked for his own fight prediction at UFC 214 Saturday night, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley didn't hesitate. "I'm going to go out there, take him...
video

Jon Jones Says He’ll Shake Daniel Cormier’s Hand After UFC 214

Despite all the bad blood between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, "Bones" wants to bury the hatchet. During an interview on UFC Tonight Wednesday, the...
video

UFC 214’s Cris Cyborg Declares ‘I Am the Champ’

For Cris Cyborg, the vacant UFC female featherweight championship already has an owner. Cris Cyborg. Cyborg will meet Tonya Evinger this Saturday night at UFC 214...