Ryan Bader recently closed out his last UFC contract with a win, and with a top five ranking in the 205 division, so it’s not surprising to hear that there’s “interest” in signing “Darth”.
The 33 year-old fighter finished out his deal with the promotion in November, by stopping Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the second round. Currently Bader remains the #4 ranked light-heavyweight in the UFC, despite the fact he has no contract with the organization.
Prior to Bader’s win over Nogueira, he let it be known that he had passed on a new contract offer from the UFC, because he wanted to test free agency. Recently the powerful wrestler appeared on “Submission Radio“, and Bader reported the following (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“Without getting into specifics or anything like that, there’s been interest, for sure. I can’t really talk much about it until this stuff is all done and finalized and what not, but there’s definitely interest out there. So like I said, we’re in the preliminary stages right now, we’re talking to the UFC. It’s one of those things where we (either) get an offer from the UFC or do we go out and test free agency? So we’re in that stage right now.“
It will be interesting to see what unfolds with Bader. In recent months, the UFC has passed on matching offers from Bellator for fighters like Phil Davis, Benson Henderson and Rory MacDonald. All three of those fighters were top ten ranked fighters as well. Will the UFC bring back “Darth”?
The Arizona fighter is 4-1 in his last five bouts, and 8-2 in his last 10.