Ryan Bader earned several honors while on the wrestling mats during his prep and college days.
Now, as he prepares to face his third former UFC light heavyweight champion in his last four fights, Bader understands what being a mixed martial artist means.
Bader will take on Lyoto Machida in the co-main event of UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera Saturday night from Los Angeles. With an impressive win, the former Ultimate Fighter winner can position himself for a crack at the title.
“This is it; time to show what I can do,” Bader said. “I’m better than ever; I used to be just a wrestler with a big overhand right, but I’ve added many more skills to my game now.”
Along with a loss to current UFC 205-pound champion Jon Jones last year, Bader was also submitted by Tito Ortiz. However, he rebounded to knock Jason Brilz out before earning a decision victory against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
“Fights against ‘Rampage’ and Brilz have shown my stand up is a lot more technical and smooth,” Bader said. “The win over ‘Rampage’ felt like the start of a new chapter.”
Bader sports a career record of 14-2. Half of those wins have come via knockout.