Bellator light-heavyweight champion will now defend his title against Ryan Bader at Bellator 180 on June 24th in New York City after his original opponent, Muhammed ‘King Mo’ lawal pulled out from the match-up.
‘King Mo’ is believed to have been forced out of action due to an injury, and so Bader now gets an immediate title shot in his Bellator debut.
These two have actually fought before back at UFC On FOX 14 in January of 2015, with Bader emerging victorious on that occasion by way of split decision.
That was the fiinal fight in ‘Mr Wonderful’s’ UFC deal and he opted to test his worth on the open market and eventually signed for Bellator after they handed him the most lucrative offer.
Since then, Davis has gone on a four-fight winning streak in the Bellator promotion, winning their one-night light-heavyweight grand-prix after first round stoppage victories against Emanuel Newton and Francis Carmont.
He then defeated ‘King Mo’ in a title eliminator match-up and then seized the belt with a unanimous decision win over Liam McGeary at Bellator 163 in November of last year.
As for Bader, he would go on to win three of his next four bouts in the UFC after defeating Davis. That included victories over the likes of Rashad Evans, Ilir Latifi and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and a KO loss to Anthony Johnson.
Like Davis, Bader then decided to field offers on the open market when his contract came to an end, and despite being one of the UFC’s top 205lb contenders, they didn’t put up much of a fight to keep him and Bellator gladly made an offer to bring him on-board.
It should be noted that Davis Vs Bader II will not be on the Bellator: NYC pay-per-view card, which takes place later that same night at Madison Square Garden and is headlined by Chael Sonnen Vs Wanderlei Silva.
Instead, the light-heavyweight title fight will serve as the co-main event of Bellator 180, a show that’s being marketed seperately by the promotion on Spike TV as a lead-in to the PPV card.