Last month it was announced that Bellator MMA would be heading to Penn State for Bellator 186.
The main event light heavyweight title fight between Ryan Bader and Linton Vassell was announced then.
It was also confirmed that Penn State alum Phil Davis and Ed Ruth would fight on the card against TBA opponents. Well, we finally know who both men will fight.
Phil Davis will fight former two-division Legacy Champion; Leo Leite in a light heavyweight bout and three-time NCAA wrestling champion Ed Ruth will get a step up in competition when he faces fellow Pennsylvanian, UFC-veteran Chris Dempsey.
Phil Davis (17-4, 1NC) vs. Leo Leite (10-0)
A former NCAA Champion at Penn State, Davis returns home having won four of his last six fights. In his most recent outing, he lost the Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Championship following a split decision loss to Ryan Bader. Prior to this, he won four-straight in the Bellator cage. Before this stellar four-fight stretch, he was released from the UFC following a loss to Ryan Bader.
Leite is a former Pan-American Champion in Judo who holds a spotless MMA record since making his debut in 2013. In 2014, Leite won the Legacy FC light heavyweight and middleweight titles in back-to-back fights in 2014, both via TKO. Last year he added the Iron FC light heavyweight title to his resume. He closed out 2016 with a record of 3-0, with his most recent outing taking place at Fight2Night 1 in November, defeating Moise Rimbon.
Ed Ruth (3-0) vs. Chris Dempsey (11-5)
Another former NCAA Champion out of Penn State, Ed Ruth returns looking to extend his perfect record as a pro. Since making his MMA debut under the Bellator MMA banner last year, Ruth has won three-straight by (T)KO. He is one of the best middleweight prospects in the game today and will receive quite a significant step up in competition when he faces former UFC middleweight; Chris Dempsey.
A former All-American at Pitt-Johnstown, Dempsey fought his way to a 10-1 record on the regionals prior to joining the UFC in 2014. He had a not-so-stellar record of 1-4 in the promotion, with his sole win being over TUF 19 winner Eddie Gordon. Chris Dempsey has only fought one time post-UFC, losing to Canada’s Adam Hunter via KO in 40 seconds 15 months ago. He has not competed since.
‘Bellator 186: Bader vs. Vassell’ will take place at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pennsylvania. A venue that could hold about 16,000 people if setup correctly.
An inaugural women’s flyweight champion will also be crowned when Ilima Lei-MacFarlane takes on Emily Ducote. Zach Freeman returns following quick win over Pico to take on perennial contender Saad Awad.