Bellator light-heavyweight champion Ryan Bader will make the first defence of his title against Britain’s Linton Vassell on November 3, it was announced today.

The fight, set to headline Bellator 186, will take place at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pennsylvania.

For ‘Darth’ Bader, 23-5, the bout with Vassell marks the inaugural defence of a title he won from Phil Davis in June at Madison Square Garden. That was Bader’s first appearance in a Bellator cage, having joined the promotion from the UFC, and, although the verdict was only split at the end of five rounds, Bader showed enough against ‘Mr. Wonderful’ to suggest he’ll be a champion tough to dislodge at 205lbs.

Vassell, 19-5 (1 No Contest), meanwhile, will receive his second shot at the belt following a great run of form that culminated, in May, with a third-round submission of Liam McGeary in London. That win was ‘The Swarm’s third victory in a row and he’s as deserving of an opportunity as anyone right now.