The speculation is over, as Ryan Bader will officially sign with Bellator MMA Monday.
Per a report from MMA Junkie's Steven Marrocco, the former UFC light heavyweight standout will soon send in his official signed contract according to Bellator President Scott Coker.
Bader joining the Bellator ranks brings to an end a several-month period where the Power MMA leader's future was trapped in limbo. UFC President Dana White publicly stated his promotion wasn't going to match any offer Bader received, but then the story took a strange twist when the UFC made a request to see and examine the official contract offered by Bellator.
Nevertheless, the back-and-forth between the three parties appears to have ended, and Bader will now pursue success under the Bellator banner. And he already has his first opponent in mind.
Speaking with FloCombat back in February, the former Arizona State University wrestling standout issued an open challenge to current Bellator light heavyweight champion Phil Davis. Bader is the last man to defeat "Mr. Wonderful" when they both competed under the UFC banner, and the former national champion wrestler from Penn State University was equally open to the idea of a rematch.
Davis vs. Bader 2 would make for an excellent high profile tilt and add yet another big pop to what is set to be the biggest year in the history of the promotion.