Rising UFC light heavyweight contender Ryan “Darth” Bader picked up the biggest win of his career last night at UFC 119 when he defeated PRIDE veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via unanimous decision. The performance was by his own admission not Bader’s best but the win still propels him up the light heavyweight ranks. Bader spoke with Sherdog.com after the win and said that he is staying focused on the next thing that rises in his path and that he isn’t preoccupied with his position in the light heavyweight title picture.
“I’m getting there, I’m young in the sport and I’m in no rush,” said Bader. “205, there’s a bunch of tough guys and the title’s gonna keep rotating. Anything can happen, we’re powerful, quick guys and I see [the title] changing hands a few times. I’m not really rushing into anything, just taking it one fight at a time. You can’t start looking towards a title shot, you gotta look at here and now. I got through Nogueira, that’s what I was focusing on the whole time. Who knows who’s next and we’ll figure it out from there.”
Bader is undefeated as a mixed martial artist in twelve professional fights. He was the winner of season eight of The Ultimate Fighter and has appeared in the Octagon five times, posting victories over Vinny Magalhaes (via TKO, to win ‘TUF 8′), Carmelo Marrero (via unanimous decision), Eric Schafer (via unanimous decision), Keith Jardine (via KO), and Nogueira, respectively. There has been much talk of having Bader face the very impressive Jon “Bones” Jones, but nothing official has been mentioned.