Longtime UFC veteran and UFC Ultimate Fighter 8 winner Ryan Bader has signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA.
When he does make his promotional debut, it will be the first time Bader has fought outside of the UFC auspices in well over eight years.
There is no debut date set or an opponent announced yet for Bader, but both are expected to be announced soon.
During his eight plus years in the UFC, the TUF champion earned victories over such notables as Vinny Magalhaes, Keith Jardine, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (twice), Quinton Jackson, Vladimir Matyushenko, Rafael Cavalcante, Ovince St. Preux, Rashad Evans, Ilir Latifi and current Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Champion Phil Davis.
Bader’s last fight in the UFC came at UFC Fight Night 100 in November 1016, where he defeated the aforementioned Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by third round TKO.
The fighter will also be bringing a professional MMA record of 22-5-0 into the Viacom owned promotion.
A few months back, UFC President Dana White said that Bader signing with Bellator MMA was the right move for his career.
“We had told Ryan Bader he was good to go,” White said to MMA Junkie. “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.”
Neither Bellator MMA or Bader himself have commented on the signing.