Ryan Bader is one of the latest, big name fighters to sign with Bellator, and recently “Darth” outlined one of the key reasons why he signed with the promotion.
The powerful wrestler entered free agency, following his win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC FN 100 in September. Although Bader went 4-1 in his five final fights with the UFC, and was ranked in the top five of the promotion’s 205 rankings, the company elected to not match Bellator’s offer.
Recently Bader spoke with MMA Junkie about his move to Bellator, and while doing so, he revealed the following:
“It will be three to four times what I was getting with Reebok, for sure,” said Bader, while discussing how much sponsorship money he’ll be making with Bellator. “I had a couple really good blue-chip sponsors that have stood by us through the whole Reebok deal that are still there – like the American Ethanols and things of that sort. Then we got some new sponsors coming on board. We’re full for this fight.”
“People are like, ‘Oh, you’re in Bellator, so it’s going to be harder to find sponsors,’” Bader added. “That wasn’t the case at all. There’s more opportunity in that aspect, and we’re full. I’m getting much more money than I was in the UFC in sponsorship revenue…”
Now, it’s true that not every Bellator fighter is rolling in big time sponsorship cash, but obviously, things played out well for Bader in this respect. The UFC remains the sports biggest promotion, by a long shot, but Bellator has a growing platform to attract fighters, and the means to pay some of them, pretty well.
Bader will make his Bellator debut at the promotion’s June 24th card in NYC. “Darth” will be taking on fellow UFC vet and current Bellator champ, Phil Davis. They fought back in 2015 and Bader won via split decision.