Ryan Bader will be making his Bellator MMA debut in a few months at Bellator 180, where he will be taking on King Mo.
The fighter not only wants to have a successful promotional debut, but he also wants to win some gold.
“I want to win a belt,” Bader said to MMA Junkie. “In my MMA fighting career, I came up, I got in ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ real quick. I was on local show, but I was never on one local show. I jumped around, so I never got the opportunity to fight for a belt anywhere. So that’s one of my end game goals – is to have a belt. And going out there, and beating Phil Davis, whoever has it, winning the light heavyweight belt in Bellator would be a big deal.”
Bader never got the opportunity to fight for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title during his tenure in the promotion.
Although he is excited to face Mo at Bellator 180, the UFC veteran thought he would be fighting Phil Davis in his debut.
“Coming in, I was ranked No. 4 in the world with the UFC, been a top-10 guy for years,” Bader said. “So for me, it wasn’t just about the terms and the money. It was little things: make sure I fight. Biggest thing, too, is sponsorships – make sure I’m open and free to kind of do other things if I want, big fights, maybe at heavyweight, different stuff like that. Then it comes down to the contract, too, and the money, and that was amazing. That was a non-issue. We just kind of worked through trivial stuff that needs to be worked out in a contract. I was excited about just the openness and the opportunities of it all. I want to go in there and I want to win the belt. So we talked about fighting (champ) Phil Davis first fight, stuff like that.”
Bellator 180 takes place on Saturday, June 24 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York with Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.