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Dana White on Ryan Bader's free agency: He belongs in Bellator MMA

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Bellator MMA has resembled a combat vulture over the past year or so. Not only did the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion lock down notable names like Benson Henderson, Phil Davis, Josh Thomson, Matt Mitrione and Rory MacDonald in 2016, but Bellator is extremely close to signing former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight title contender Ryan Bader. Even though UFC would be losing one of its most proven assets at the 205-pound level, president Dana White believes Bellator will be a perfect fit for "Darth."

"We had told Ryan Bader he was good to go," said White during a recent interview with USA TODAY Sports on "Radio Row" for Super Bowl LI. "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."

Well that's that. Without a new contract offer being presented by UFC, it only makes sense that Bader joins the ranks of Bellator. With Davis, a fighter Bader already defeated back in 2015, currently situated as the Bellator light heavyweight champion, the promotion could come out of the gate hot and schedule the two for a rematch.

Even at 33 years of age, Bader still has much to offer as a fighter. But as a guy who always seemed to come up short when it mattered most in his UFC career, it's understandable that the promotion is willing to part ways and go younger.

Stick with Mania as more news pertaining to Bader's free agency moves becomes available.

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