Ryan Bader is a week shy of his UFC 132 bout against former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and he’s chomping at the bit to get back in the cage and attempt to get back in the win column over one of the biggest names in the sport.
“I am very excited about this fight,” Bader said recently. “I wanna fight one of those guys — those legends of the sport — for my resume, just for me, as a fighter and as a MMA fan. Tito’s one of those guys that’s out there and I had the opportunity to fight him and I took it.”
Many are writing off Ortiz’s chances in this bout, since he hasn’t won a fight since defeating Ken Shamrock in 2006, but Bader is quick to point out that all of “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’s” losses but one have come against former champions and top ten fighters.
“He was a champion for a reason,” he said. “He’s still a dangerous opponent and, if you look at his past fights, he’s been fighting top-tier competition. I’m not taking him lightly at all.”
As for how he plans to dispatch of the 36-year-old, Bader says that he’ll be looking to finish him in every round from every position.
“I do have the ability to knock Tito out. I’ve always had that power, I’ve always had that strong overhand right and that’s always gonna be there for me. It’s a fight, I’m gonna mix it up,” Bader said. “I’m gonna mix my takedowns with my standup, get him thinking one thing and then come over the top, or vice versa. If I take him down, I’m gonna try to beat on him, and ground and pound him and TKO him. If the submission’s there… I’m gonna take that also. I wanna get back to the top and it starts with this fight right here. I’ve gotta go out there and beat Tito Ortiz and that’s what I’m gonna do.”
UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber 2 goes down this Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check FightLine.com on the night for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.