In the first big free agent move of the new year it appears as though Ryan Bader is headed to Bellator. While neither Bader not Bellator have confirmed it, Dana White has.
White is in Houston for tomorrow night’s UFC Fight Night, as well as to watch his beloved New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. USA Today caught up with the UFC president and asked him point blank if they were going to match Bellator’s offer to the light heavyweight.
“No. We had told Ryan Bader he was good to go. We knew he was gonna go to Bellator the entire time.”
It doesn’t get any more clearer than that. Bellator has a habit of announcing big free agent signings during their televised events, so one would have to assume that a Ryan Bader announcement would come during Bellator 172, which is headlined by Matt Mitrione vs. Fedor Emelianenko on February 18th.
Bader is 22-5 and has won his last two fights in the UFC, stopping both Ilir Latifi and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
White went a little more in depth as to why he thinks Bellator is the right move for Ryan Bader. Check out the interview below to hear Dana on the UFC’s most recent loss: