Ryan Bader Moves from UFC to Bellator

It took a little longer than anticipated, but former UFC light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader is now officially on the Bellator roster. 

Bellator officials confirmed the news on Monday, following Bader’s announcement on The MMA Hour

The move doesn’t come as a surprise. 

Ryan BaderUFC president Dana White all but confirmed Bader would end up with Bellator when he said in early February, “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. At this point in his career, I think it’s the right move for him.”

Having been entrenched in the Top 5 of the UFC 205-pound division, it was a bit surprising that the promotion so easily let Bader go.

He joins a division that is topped by another UFC veteran. Phil Davis was also a top contender while fighting for the UFC, but signed with Bellator and quickly became the promotions light heavyweight champion. The division has become one of Bellator’s deepest, featuring the likes of David, Bader, Liam McGeary, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, and Linton Vassell.

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In a short video that Bader posted to Twitter following the announcement of his signing, he immediately took aim at Davis and the belt. Bader and Davis fought once under the UFC banner, where Bader won a split decision.

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  • Roscoe Gauldin

    wow……bader had a good win streak going, other than a loss to rumble. IMO he should have stayed around a bit longer.

    • Sir_Roy

      UFC should have kept him around a bit longer. But time will tell.

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  • BadeMightChockAgain

    UFC didn’t want him! Dana said it was time for Bader to move on. He beat Davis in the UFC so Bader might become the new Bellator 205 champ. Unless he chockes on the big fight like he always does!

    • mrman

      are you a ufc shill, you should support the fighters they are the ones risking brain damage for your entertainment, ufc didnt want to pay him a decent amount so he went to bellator, without the fighters their is no ufc.

  • uncle

    Bader vs Tito 2 Bader vs Davis 2
    Rampage vs Bader 2. He’s not a draw so Bellator can keep the UFC

  • Ron Wheeler

    He is a snoozefest to watch. While it will add to Bellator’s legitimacy, it won’t add to their must-see factor.