Ryan Bader was on the fast-track to challenging for the UFC light heavyweight championship. Along the way, a couple of hurdles were placed in front of him in the form of Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz.
Just as quickly, however, he went from being a top-10 ranked 205-pounder to back-to-back submission losses to Jones and Ortiz. His stock dropped, and “Darth” was forced to examine himself as a fighter.
“It’s MMA. It’s a crazy sport,” said Bader, in a recent interview with Tapout Video (thanks to MMAMania for the transcription). “I gotta go back to the drawing board. It was actually great for me to change some things up and I’m better for it.”
The former Arizona State University standout was 12-0 and coming off a pair of wins over Keith Jardine and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira when he stepped inside the Octagon against Jones, who is now the UFC champion. Being an athlete for as long as he has, Bader understands that you can learn from a defeat.
“I don’t know if I would have done that (changed his training) if I would have kept on winning, so I’ll be a better fighter because of it in the long run,” Bader said. “Just using it as fuel for the fire and I have been.”
Bader will return to action next month when he meets Jason Brilz at UFC 139 in San Jose, California.