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Going for Bellator glory

HEADLINE NEWS: Linton Vassell

BELLATOR IS set to make its debut at Bryce Jordan Center on the campus of Penn State University on November 3 for Bellator 186 – and Britain’s own Linton Vassell will headline against title holder Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader.

In addition, two Bellator competitors who spent their college years as members of the Penn State Nittany Lions wrestling team, Phil Davis (17-4, 1 NC) and Ed Ruth (3-0), will return to their alma mater to compete in MMA for the first time in their careers. Their opponents are yet to be determined.

Bellator 186, in Penn State University’s University Park, will be broadcast live and free on Spike, while preliminary action will stream on and the Bellator mobile app. Additional bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.

Bader returns to the cage for the first time since dethroning former Penn State wrestling standout Phil Davis as light heavyweight champion in June at Bellator 180.

Fighting out of Tempe, Arizona, Bader began his professional career on an impressive run, steamrolling the competition en route to a 12-fight winning streak and winning one of the most competitive seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in franchise history on Spike in 2008.

Bader continued his path of dominance by collecting wins over some of the 205-pound division’s top talent, including victories over former world champions Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Rashad Evans, as well as a previous win over Phil Davis.

Currently riding a three-fight winning streak with victories in eight of his past nine bouts, the former two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler from Arizona State University will look to protect his belt in November.

Vassell, currently training at Combat Club in South Florida alongside Matt Mitrione, Michael Chandler and Robbie Lawler, has once again put himself in position to fight for Bellator’s 205-pound title. After making his professional debut in 2008, the Milton Keynes native has tallied 18 victories, including 14 finishes and 10 coming inside the first round, as well as seven wins over nine bouts in just four years with Bellator.

Following three consecutive victories over two former champions in Liam McGeary and Emanuel Newton, as well as Francis Carmont, 34-year-old Vassell will attempt to become the second-ever Bellator light heavyweight champion to hail from the United Kingdom, after McGeary.

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