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Ryan Bader on free agency: ‘There’s definitely interest out there’

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Ryan Bader says that his free agency is still in the preliminary stages, but there is interest from organizations other than the UFC.

Ryan Bader is a free agent, but he’s not sure what’s going to happen yet. The UFC light heavyweight contender recently fought twice in less than months, emphatically defeating Ilir Latifi and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and re-establishing his claim for a title shot. But those two fights brought his contract to an end, and the future is unclear for the TUF 8 winner.

In an interview with Submission Radio, Bader described where he’s at right now in terms of dealing with the UFC:

“No, I’m still a free agent right now. And over the next week or so, we’re gonna see kind of what we’re doing and what not as far as if we’re going to take any offers elsewhere, getting offers from the UFC, all that kind of stuff. So we haven’t gone there yet, we’re in the preliminary stages of it. So just kind of waiting right now and we will see. We were gonna wait for that light heavyweight title fight to happen, but obviously that’s pushed back, so we started the process a little earlier than expected.”


“(The UFC) usually come to you with one fight left. So they offered us something and we looked at it and we didn’t even really counter, we just looked at it and said we’re gonna fight it out because it’s pretty much the same contract that we had, a little bit more. So we just said, hey why not, let’s just fight it out. So it was our decision. So we’re just in the process right now of just kind of figuring out what we’re going to do.”

Bader does make it clear that other organizations are interested in his services, even if he doesn’t delve very far into it:

“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.“

Check out the whole interview above, where Bader shares his thoughts on the MMAAA and whether he’ll be talking to friend Cain Velasquez about it; when he feels like his contract situation will be resolved; his frustrations with not getting a title shot yet; and much more.