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.”


Darren Elkins

Darren Elkins on Comeback Win Over Mirsad Bektic: ‘That Fight Really Tested my Will’

Darren Elkins pulled off what many view as the "Comeback of the Year" so far. Earlier this month at UFC 209, Elkins took on Mirsad...
Charles Oliveira

Charles Oliveira on Lightweight Run Going Forward: ‘The Future Belongs to God’

Charles Oliveira isn't ruling out a return to the featherweight division. Oliveira last fought back in Nov. 2016 against Ricardo Lamas. The fight was set...

Bellator 178: Ilima Macfarlane and Jessica Middleton Face Off in Co-Main Event

Bellator 178 now has a women’s flyweight bout between Ilima Macfarlane and Jessica Middleton as the co-main event. Bellator officials announced on Monday that Macfarlane...

Chael Sonnen Breaks Down the Uncomfortable Origin of His Beef With Wanderlei Silva

Chael Sonnen argues his case for why his beef with Brazilian MMA legend Wanderlei Silva is warranted, ahead of their headline clash at Bellator...

Tito Ortiz Wants Wanderlei Silva to Knock Chael Sonnen Out at Bellator 180

Tito Ortiz is still showing clear signs of a grudge against Chael Sonnen according to comments he made on Monday. While looking at headlines such...