Highly ranked UFC light heavyweight fighter Ryan Bader now has a new home as he is the latest addition to the Bellator MMA family. For a month now, there has been speculation whether Bader would stay in the UFC or jump ship to Bellator. Bellator President Scott
Coker confirmed to MMA Junkie on Monday that Bader will accept a multi-fight contract with the promotion, which is owned by Viacom, that will finally put an end to his free agent status after fighting out his UFC contract. Coker did not confirm a timeline for Bader’s promotional debut.
Bader (22-5) is the winner of season eight of the Ultimate Fighter and most recently fought in November at UFC Fight 100 where he picked up a win over via stoppage over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, which was a rematch. That win marked his second consecutive win following a knockout loss to current UFC title contender Anthony Johnson.
With Bader finding recent success, he became a valuable name and someone that Bellator wanted to add to their light heavyweight division. Bader did show his desire to stay in the UFC but stated that he would entertain offers from other promotions, which is exactly what he did.
Bader does own a win over current Bellator champ Phil Davis, whom he beat in January 2015 at UFC on FOX 14, which is a matchup that Bellator will consider making in the future.