Former UFC fighter Ryan Bader recently left the promotion to sign with Bellator MMA.
The fighter believes that if he can capture the Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Title, it will validate his MMA career.
"There will always be something down there that says, 'All right, you won the Bellator title but you never won the UFC title.’ I've thought about that,” Bader said to ESPN. “I've never had the opportunity, and yes, a lot of it is my fault ... but I never got that opportunity. I can only work with the opportunity that is given to me. When I win that [Bellator] belt, it will validate a lot of my hard work.”
Bader never competed for a title during his run with the UFC. Bader were to win gold in Bellator MMA, it would be the first and thus far, only title he has won since turning pro.
"I fought around local shows [early in my career], jumped around. I never got to fight in one organization to win the belt. I won The Ultimate Fighter and jumped into the UFC on my fifth fight or whatnot. I want to have a belt somewhere. I'm working with what I'm given. These opportunities, I'll be extremely happy and it will validate the years I've spent in the sport, wrestling, going back to seven years old,” says Bader.
A debut date or fight has yet to be set for Bader, but he recently took to Twitter to challenge light heavyweight champion Phil Davis at Bellator 180.