Ryan Bader was on the cusp of competing for the UFC light heavyweight title. Now, following back-to-back losses against Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz, “Darth” knows he needs a great showing this weekend when he meets Jason Brilz at UFC 139: Shogun vs. Hendo.
Bader-Brilz will be part of the UFC Prelims special that airs on Spike TV. The Ultimate Fighter winner was an NCAA Div. I All-American at Arizona State University, while his opponent, Brilz, was a standout grappler in the NCAA Div. II ranks at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
“Jason Brilz, every fight he is in, you know he is going to come after you for three rounds hard,” said Bader, in a recent interview with UFC.com. “There’s no quit in him at all. He might not have the most technical standup, but he has power in his hands and every punch he throws is hard. You don’t want to take too many of those.”
Bader changed his training after the loss to Ortiz, bringing in new coaches and partners. He also started a gym with fellow ASU wrestlers Aaron Simpson and CB Dollaway.
“The fighter I am today, I would destroy myself even a year ago,” Bader said. “I feel better going into every camp, especially with these losses, and trying to get better for the next win. It forces you to get better. If you’re not trying to get better after a loss then you don’t need to be in this game.”
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