Ryan Bader will never abandon his wrestling background. Bader, a former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, has learned to expand his MMA skills as he furthers his career in the UFC.
Bader will take on another former UFC light heavyweight champion tonight when he meets Lyoto Machida at UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera. The next contender to the title will be determined out of the two main fights.
After a standout career at Arizona State University, “Darth” rolled through TUF. His only two losses inside the Octagon have come to current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz.
“I had to change everything up after a few losses,” Bader said. “I got a head coach. I got a boxing coach. I made myself more technical. I made myself do a lot more things like footwork, head movement and I focused exclusively on that.”
Bader knows that wrestling will be key vs. Machida, but added, “you can’t just go in there and rush for the takedown. You have to have controlled aggression.”