Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

Fighter Ryan Bader Leaving the UFC Behind to Join Bellator MMA

Fighter Ryan Bader Leaving the UFC Behind to Join Bellator MMA

After a not-so-secretive courtship, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 8 champion recently inked a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA and will make his Spike TV return at a date and venue to be determined.

However, Dana White announced in April that the Brazilian had injured his back during the aforementioned TUF scuffle and the bout was once again rescheduled, this time for July and UFC 175.

Bellator's matchmakers were never going to disappoint the former UFC middleweight and light-heavyweight title contender.

Bellator 180 will mark the organization's first pay-per-view event since its pay-per-view debut in May 2014, which was headlined by Quinton Jackson vs. Muhammed Lawal, at the tail end of the Bjorn Rebney era.

It should also be noted Bader issued a challenge to Davis in an interview with FloCombat last month in hopes of earning a title shot in his Bellator debut.

Seven years. It's been seven years since Chael Sonnen started his career-defining feud with Anderson Silva and nearly the entire country of Brazil.

Just as interestingly, this is the latest instance of the WME-IMG-led UFC losing a high-level fighter.

Bellator 180 will be hosted at the World's Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden on June 24.

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.

"It makes sense for me to go in there and fight for it", Bader said. But I spent my whole career in the UFC.

There is now no word on when Bader will debut or who he will challenge first.

Like this: