Ryan Bader signs with Bellator … ok.
March 22nd, 2017 by Mike Coughlin
Ryan Bader is what happens if you injected muscles into a guy who didn’t leave his frat until his mid-30s.
Mr. Bader, famous for really nothing but who’s been around the sport of caged men fighting long enough that he has a name, has left his former employer, the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He’s moved on to the pastures of Bellator, which I’m not sure if they’re greener necessarily but they’re still grassy-ish.
I’d say that Bellator is kind of like the grass found in Arizona but I’d only say that because Bader lives in Arizona so I’m trying to really just connect the two that way. It’s a clever joke, you see.
Yeah. He’s with Bellator now. The man who thinks “Darth” and “Master” are funny nicknames has said he wants to fight Phil Davis for the Bellator LHW belt. He beat Davis before in a fight that has apparently been completely scrubbed from my mind.
(Fun Fact: his middle name is DuWayne – wow that’s stupid.)
Details of Ryan Bader’s Bellator Contract
Bader’s contract is unique. It’s a six fight deal that basically only lasts two years. He somehow negotiated it such that Bellator must offer him three fights per year, assuming no injuries and all that. If he isn’t offered the fights, he’s paid for them anyways. Thus, if he’s healthy, he can essentially blast through a bunch of fights before 2019 arrives. It’s actually pretty smart because he should be able to walk through much of Bellator’s roster without taking serious damage. If he does this, he’ll have set himself up nicely as a top free agent.
Not a bad deal if you can get it.
He also gets to have whatever sponsors he wants.
“The lowest I’ve ever made [before the Reebok deal] — and this was on the prelims — was 35 grand on a fight,” Bader told that guy who won MMA Journalist of the Year even though he spent part of the year on the UFC’s payroll. “I’ve made upwards of 80 grand on a fight on sponsors.”
He was making $15,000 from Reebok, though he’d have been bumped up to $20k for his next fight.
Methinks Mr. Bader will be surprised to find that the economics of MMA sponsorships have changed since then, as most of the shitty t-shirt companies are gone. Whatever. That’s a deal for another post.
All in all, Bader gets money and a chance to refresh his career, the UFC doesn’t have to pay a boring dude to be boring on their shows until he’s later established himself as a champion, and Bellator gets a good fighter with some name value. Everyone is a winner!