UFC light heavyweight prospect Ryan Bader took the first loss of his thirteen-fight professional career early last month when he succumbed to a second round guillotine choke applied by current number one contender Jon “Bones” Jones at UFC 126. Just over a month removed from the fight, Bader spoke with MMAInterviews.tv at the Arnold Fitness Expo, to whom he expressed his intense desire to return to action and also discussed how he believes Jones will fare against light heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
“I wanna be in there. I’m just kind of waiting on who I’m fighting. There’s really nothing else to it,” said Bader when asked when he will step back into the cage. “Hopefully I’ll know in a couple of weeks, but I wanna get back in there and get going and kind of scratch the last fight out of my mind and get hardcore training going again and have someone to look forward to fighting.”
Going back to his UFC 126 loss to “Bones,” Bader explained that he felt he was having an off night and that he is disappointed for not performing as well as he believes he could have; he also pledged to grow from the experience and return a better fighter.
“I just didn’t feel like myself. Maybe I had an off night, maybe it was nerves or something,” he said. “I just felt that I didn’t fight up to my potential. Going back and watching it–you [go] over and over what you could do and what you should’ve done but you gotta let it go, get back in the gym, learn from it and move on.”
Jones and Rua will contest the 205lbs. championship later this month at UFC 128 and Jones–the considerably less experienced of the two–has opened as the odds-on favorite. Bader believes that the odds being in Jones’ favor is justified and that his contemporary has a very good shot at dethroning Rua.
“I think he has a really good shot,” said Bader of Jones. “‘Shogun’ coming off a knee injury and Jones’ wrestling, we’ll see what happens but Jones definitely has a great shot at winning the title.”