Ryan Bader recently broke a two-fight slump courtesy Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz by quickly knocking out Jason Brilz at UFC 139 last November. Now, he’ll jump back into the cage with one of the world’s best, facing Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the former Pride FC superstar’s stomping grounds in Saitama, Japan.
Though Jackson is a formidable test for any of the world’s top light heavyweights, Bader is eager to face him to prove that he deserves to be ranked among that group.
“My first thought when the UFC offered me Rampage was ‘Absolutely, we’re gonna take it.’ He’s fought over there, he’s popular over there but that doesn’t matter to me,” said Bader. “I relish in the role of the underdog, going in there and beating someone like Rampage. If anything, that’s going to give me more motivation.
“Beating Rampage would solidify my career,” he continued. “It would put me up there with the upper echelon fighters in the light heavyweight division. I’m a way better fighter than I was coming through undefeated early in my career. I’m ten times better than I was.”
Bader will take on Rampage in the co-main event of UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson this Saturday at the Saitama Super Arena. FightLine will be back on the night with live, ongoing coverage of the event, as usual.