The UFC has decided to throw the Season 8 winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” into the deep end of the swimming pool at “UFC 110: Nogueira vs. Velasquez” as Ryan Bader will be taking on light heavyweight gatekeeper Keith Jardine.
There’s no question that Jardine poses the biggest threat to Bader’s young career, and could easily put the first loss on his unblemished record, but Bader could also grow up right in front of the MMA world by beating a tough fighter like Jardine.
“I don’t put Jardine on a pedestal or worry about any kind of step up. He’s just another fighter standing in the way of me achieving my goal,” Bader told MMAFighting.
A loser in four of his last six bouts, Jardine has been viewed by many as the guy that light heavyweights need to beat in order to become relevant in the 205-pound division. He owns important victories over former champion Chuck Liddell and Brandon Vera.
None of that phases Bader as he’s approaching the biggest fight of his UFC career.
A solid win would certainly propel him into the upper-tier of light heavyweights, but a loss could have him back at square one.
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