Guess who’s back … back again.
Former UFC light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader, who now wears gold under the Bellator MMA banner, will be returning to the promotion to help head coach Michael Chandler lead a squad of bantamweight and lightweight competitors for Season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) inside APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bader will be joined by grappling deity Robert Drysdale, striking specialist Jason Strout, and wrestling coach Greg Jones.
“Darth” is no stranger to the combat sports reality show, capturing the glass trophy and a “six-figure contract” on Season 8 by defeating Vinny Magalhaes in the live finale. Bader compiled a 15-5 record for UFC and jumped to Bellator after racking up consecutive knockout victories over Ilir Latifi and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Bader, 39, is 9-2 for Bellator and the winner of three straight.
TUF 31 will pit Chandler against rival coach Conor McGregor with a lightweight pay-per-view (PPV) showdown expected to take place later this year. The first episode of TUF 31 will air on ESPN (with replays on ESPN+) in May.