Ryan Bader, former Arizona State All-American wrestler, will face Matt Mitrione in a top-of-the-card event at Bellator 205 in October.
The bout, announced this week, is a semifinals match for the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix to take place at Mohegan Sun Arena at Uncasville, Calif. on Friday, Oct. 12.
Mitrione vs. Bader is the first fight in the semifinals round of Bellator's 2018 Heavyweight World Grand Prix, which will crown a new Bellator World Heavyweight Champion. On the opposite side of the bracket, Fedor Emelianenko (37-5, 1 NC) is set to square off with Chael Sonnen (31-15-1) at a date to be announced.
Bader, already Bellator light-heavyweight champ, seeks to add a new title to his MMA resume. He earned his place in the semifinals with a 15-second TKO of "King Mo" Lawal in the first round of the Grand Prix at Bellator 199. Mitrione qualified for the semis with a majority decision over Roy Nelson in his first-round Grand Prix bout at Bellator 194.
Tickets for Bellator: Mitrione vs. Bader go on sale to the general public on Friday, July 13 at Bellator.com, Ticketmaster, or the Mohegan Sun box office.
Prior to launching his pro MMA career, the 25-5 "Darth" Bader made a name for himself in amateur wrestling. He was a two-time Nevada high school state champ who continued his mat career at Arizona State, where he was a three-time Pac-10 conference champ and a two-time NCAA Division I All-American.
Mitrione -- with a 13-5 MMA record -- played defensive end at Purdue University, then continued his football career in the NFL, playing for the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings for a total of six seasons.