UFC FN 47’s Ryan Bader: “I’m the Best Fighter I’ve Ever Been”, Says OSP is in for a “Rude Awakening”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Ryan Bader has come up short against several of the UFC’s top tier, light-heavyweights, but the powerful fighter promises “Darth’s” best days are ahead.
As Bader heads into his UFC Fight Night main event with Ovince St-Preux on Saturday, he’s scored consecutive wins over Anthony Perosh and Rafael Cavalcante, after being stopped by Glover Teixeira last September. Not only have the victories ensured Bader remained in the coveted top ten rankings, but according to the 31 year-old, they’ve come at a time when he’s never been better.
“I’m the fighter I need to be and I’m the best fighter I’ve ever been. My mentality is great,” Bader relayed on the latest edition of FOX Sports 1’s “UFC Tonight”. “I’m going to make my win streak three. I’m going to move on and fight the top five in the division and get that title shot and win that title. If you look at my losses, it’s been to champs and former champs, and Glover – all tough guys. I tried to kick box with them. I didn’t wrestle with them. Now I’m mixing my wrestling in and it works best for me.”
Since winning the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the only men to defeat Bader in 14 UFC bouts, are decorated fighters like Jon Jones, Tito Ortiz, Lyoto Machida and the aforementioned Teixeira. While the loss to Ortiz was viewed by many as a considerable upset, there’s no question that the quality of Bader’s opposition shouldn’t be overlooked. In addition, the accomplished wrestler has scored wins over established vets like Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and former UFC champ, “Rampage” Jackson.
In St-Preux, Bader will face a fighter who has done nothing but impress since joining the UFC, thanks to four consecutive wins in the Octagon. While “OSP” has locked up the #10 ranking as a result, Bader believes the dynamic fighter has yet to face someone with his pedigree.
“He hasn’t really fought a wrestler,” Bader argued on “UFC Tonight”, while referring to St-Preux’s 2011 decision loss to Mousasi, which took place under the Strikeforce banner. “Mousasi took him down at will and Mousasi isn’t known as a wrestler. I’m going to take him down and put my hands on him. I’ve been working on my power and with my wrestling pedigree. He hasn’t fought top 10 or top 15 guy for that matter.”
It would appear like the oddsmakers agree with some of Bader’s arguments, as the Power MMA fighter is the favorite heading into the August 16th scrap. Despite his underdog status, OSP relayed on “UFC Tonight” that Bader is “overrated”, and that defeating the latter won’t be “hard”.
“Wow, he’s in for a rude awakening,” Bader said in response to St-Preux’s comments. “He hasn’t fought people of my level. He hasn’t fought anyone in the top 10. I’m going to welcome him in that level and it’s going to be a bad night for him and a long night.”
UFC FN 47 will be hosted by the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine.