Not too long ago, Ryan Bader was looked at as a potential challenger to the UFC light heavyweight championship. Back-to-back losses, however, to Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz had “Darth” feeling uneasy about his future.
Saturday night, as part of the Spike TV prelims special for UFC 139: Shogun vs. Hendo, Bader knocked out Jason Brilz and earned his first victory since 2010. The former Ultimate Fighter winner is now 13-2 in his career and happy to have earned the victory.
“I feel a lot of pressure off my shoulders, I feel good,” said Bader, in an interview with UFC.com. “I trained hard and I trained with the best coaches and it showed. I feel comfortable.”
Bader knew that going winless in 2011 was not an option, adding, “I haven’t won in a year, the last two losses, getting a win just feels awesome. I believe in myself and I believe in what I’m doing.”
The former Arizona State University wrestling standout is now 6-2 in the UFC, winning three of his bouts via knockout. Both losses came courtesy of guillotine chokes by Jones and Ortiz.