Home MMA Bellator Ryan Bader Signs With Bellator

Ryan Bader Signs With Bellator

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In November the #4 ranked UFC light heavyweight Ryan Bader said he was going to test “taboo” free agency. He let his contract run out and entered negotiations with Bellator.

“I haven’t received a title shot yet with the UFC, and I believe that’s something I’ve earned,” said Bander. “That and a few other things made me realize fighting out my contract was the best move and that’s what I did.”

A contract was offered by Bellator and early in February, UFC president Dana White was asked by USA Today’s Trysta Krick if he was going to match it.

“No,” replied White. “We had told Ryan Bader he was good to go. We knew he was going to go to Bellator the entire time. … I think Bellator is a good place for Ryan Bader. I think at this point in his career, I think it’s the right move for him.”

It apparently took another month to iron out the final details, and now it’s official. The obvious question is who is next. And there is an obvious answer.

Bader beat current Bellator champion Phil Davis via Split Decision in January of 2015 at UFC on FOX 14. Davis then left the UFC, won a four-man, one-night tournament to get a title shot at then-champion Liam McGeary and dominated in the title challenge.

When UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson came over to Bellator from the UFC, he granted an immediate title shot. Bader could too.

“I got into this game to become a champion and winning the title in Bellator or the UFC would be a dream come true,” said Bader earlier this year. His dream could come true.

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Aaron Portier
Highly passionate MMA Journalist, and I've followed the sport ever since my favorite fighter, Vitor Belfort won the heavyweight tournament at UFC 12. After that I've tried to go to every local MMA event around the Gulf Coast and surrounding areas and decided to make it a point to have a career in some aspect in the fighting sport other than fighting in general (didn't want to ruin my face). I'm currently enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana University working towards a degree in Communication. I cover MMA, Boxing and Football for The Daily Star newspaper in my hometown of Hammond, Louisiana, in addition to working as a promotional writer for a local Boxing promotion known as BoxnCar and I cover boxing for 8countnews.com however SciFighting.com is my home. My main goal is to bring more publicity to MMA in my area and to the sport as a whole as all of us involved with the sport are merely scratching the surface and laying the foundation of what mixed martial arts competition will be further down the road.