Ryan Bader is on his way to Bellator.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season eight winner had 20 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner. During his time with the UFC, “Darth” earned a record of 15-5, but he couldn’t find his way to a title shot.
Bellator President Scott Coker informed MMAJunkie.com that Bader will sign a multi-fight deal with the promotion. An opponent or date have not been confirmed for Bader’s Bellator debut.
Bader hasn’t made it a secret that he wants a shot at Phil Davis’ Bellator light heavyweight championship. Bader defeated “Mr. Wonderful” by split decision back in Jan. 2015.
While Coker is happy to sign “Darth,” not everyone shares the same views. Former light heavyweight title holder Liam McGeary called Bader “another f*cking boring wrestler.”
Bader was last seen in action back in Nov. 2016. He fought Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in a rematch from their Sept. 2010 match-up. While their first encounter ended in a unanimous decision for “Darth,” this time it ended via third-round TKO. Bader was once again victorious.
Just two months prior, Bader laid out Illir Latifi with a vicious knee in the second round. The knockout earned Bader his first and only “Performance of the Night” bonus.