It’s been almost two weeks since UFC veteran Ryan Bader inked his deal with Bellator MMA, but he finally has his first opponent scheduled.
Bader will square off with Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in the Bellator 180 main event on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Bellator officials announced the bout following Lawal’s victory over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at Bellator 175 on Saturday in Chicago.
Lawal scored a unanimous-decision win at Bellator 175, but shortly after claiming victory, Bader was brought into the cage to address their match-up.
“I came over here to fight for the belt right now,” said Bader, “but I’m gonna make an exception for Mo, I want to fight in Madison Square Garden.”
June 24 is shaping up to be a big night for Bellator. The promotion is making its return to pay-per-view that night with Chael Sonnen squaring off against Wanderlei Silva in the Bellator NYC main event at Madison Square Garden. The pay-per-view card also features Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione, as well as welterweight champion Douglas Lima putting his belt on the line against Lorenz Larkin, and lightweight titleholder Michael Chandler facing Brent Primus.
Bellator 180, which takes place on the same night and at the same venue, serves as a lead-in to the pay-per-view. It will be available live, for free on Spike.
(Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA)