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Ryan Bader to make Bellator debut vs. 'King Mo' Lawal in New York


Fresh off his victory over ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Muhammed Lawal will welcome Ryan Bader to the Bellator roster at June’s Bellator 180.

Bellator announced the light heavyweight bout with Bader (22-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) moments after Lawal’s (21-6 MMA, 10-4 BMMA) unanimous decision victory over Jackson in Saturday’s Bellator 175 main-event rematch.

Bellator 180 takes place June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The “Bellator: NYC” main card airs on pay-per-view followed the Lawal vs. Bader-headlined Bellator 180 preliminary card on Spike.

“King Mo” earned redemption from a controversial loss at Bellator 120 in May 2014 when he outworked Jackson to take the rematch at Bellator 175. It wasn’t the most thrilling affair, but Lawal managed to bounce back from a knockout loss to Mirko Filipovic under the Rizin FF banner in December.

He will make the quick turnaround for Bellator 180 in what will be his 15th fight for the promotion.

Bader, meanwhile, makes his Bellator debut at the event, but not in the fight many expected for him. After officially signing with the organization earlier this month following a lengthy UFC tenure, Bader said his greatest desire was to immediately challenge Bellator light heavyweight champion Phil Davis, who he owns a victory over.

Bader admitted he was interested in a fight at Bellator 180 because it was the promotion’s debut in New York, and clearly he was willing to make the concession of competing in a non-title fight to make that happen.

For more on Bellator 180 and “Bellator: NYC” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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