Ryan Bader UFC 139
It’s hard to remember just over a year ago when former Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader was collapsing under the weight of two losses in a row in the UFC.

Following a submission loss to Jon Jones in early 2011, Bader looked to bounce back with what most assumed would be an automatic victory over future UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz. Things didn’t go so well for Bader that night, however. He suffered his second straight submission defeat and it was back to the drawing board.

A change in philosophy in training as well as a new gym and head coach brought Bader back from the brink. Following a quick knockout of Jason Brilz, he then put on a dominant performance over former light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

After two losses in a row, a lot of fighters would want to build themselves back up again, taking it slow and easy and then jumping back into the deep end of the divisional pool following some confidence gaining wins.

Bader wanted none of that.

The former Arizona State All-American wrestler wanted to face nothing but top competition. So after beating Jackson in February, he was more than happy when the call came in for a fight against Lyoto Machida at UFC on Fox 4.

“Why go backwards? I beat a guy who just fought for the title, then stepping up and fighting arguably a top three guy that just recently fought for the 205-pound belt. I’m knocking off these guys, I’m right there for a title shot. Those guys just fought for it,” Bader told MMAWeekly Radio.

“I come out and have two impressive wins in a row against top five opponents, that’s saying something.”

It’s not been an easy road for Bader, who over the last few years has bounced from a previous camp to opening his own gym along with close friends Aaron Simpson and C.B. Dollaway to finally hiring a head coach to steer the ship.

Now with the course set and true direction at the helm, Bader, along with his teammates, feel like they are finally on the path to true success.

“I feel like we’re in the right place. We have the right blueprint now. We know what we’ve got to do. All the guesswork’s out. We know what it takes,” said Bader.

When Bader and his friends were running the gym on their own, they had plenty of MMA know-how, and lots of experience in high-level competitions. The sparring sessions and training was always intense and they never lacked passion when it came to the workouts.

The problem was they were mostly just going through the motions, working out hard, and going through drills to get ready for fights. Now with head coach Tom Vaughn leading the way, Bader is working on specifics to face a fighter like his upcoming opponent Lyoto Machida, instead of just training hard and hoping for the best possible outcome.

“Going with Machida in the past I would have just been sparring with whoever, and my game plan would be like maybe take him down or something like that,” Bader revealed.

“Now the coaching staff, Tom Vaughn and the guys found sparring partners that totally emulate Machida. We brought guys out from Vegas, brought guys out from around the valley and different parts of the country. I’ve seen Machida’s style hundreds of times in the training camp and in the cage in the gym, so I’m not going to be surprised by it.”

Lyoto Machida is still a puzzle to figure out by most standards in the UFC light heavyweight division. A former champion, Machida’s karate style confused many when he first entered the Octagon and while the Brazilian has suffered a few defeats since that time, his elusiveness, footwork and speed still remain a constant thorn in the side of opponents.

Machida is still looked upon as one of the top light heavyweights in the sport, which is why he’s coming in as a heavy favorite over Bader by most oddsmakers.

Consider Ryan Bader one of the people most pleased by seeing those prognostications.

“I absolutely love it, coming in here and people doubting me and not expecting me to do much, or not expecting me to win. I love to go in there and show I’m evolved in every fight, surprise people and at the end of the fight have people go, ‘Wow, I did not think that was going to happen at all. I really underestimated him,’” said Bader.

“I love playing that role. There’s nowhere to go but up when you’re that big of an underdog. It just gives you that much more motivation to go in there and prove everybody wrong.”

Bader hopes to prove everybody wrong and beat Lyoto Machida at UFC on Fox 4 next Saturday night, and then possibly stake his claim as the No. 1 contender in the light heavyweight division.

Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
For more
UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC Fight Night Cyborg vs Lansberg rewind: What you got right & wrong

  • 28 days ago

UFC fans made their predictions ahead of UFC Fight Night Cyborg vs Lansberg - but were they correct? We look at all the prefight picks and see what really happened on fight night. read news >>

Did the UFC Get It Wrong in Booking McGregor vs. Alvarez?

  • 26 days ago

There’s just no pleasing some people. In a sport that, perhaps to the UFC's chagrin, is entirely driven by stars, the biggest names matter the most. That’s not any particular brand of rocket science read news >>

Floyd Mayweather: 'It's a good thing Conor McGregor stole my blueprint'

  • 25 days ago

Boxing kingpin Floyd Mayweather Jr. doesn't seem to mind UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor adopting some promotional tools as his own.The potential superfightbetween boxing pound-for-pound read news >>

Weight of historic UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden far from coach Mark Henry's mind

  • 23 days ago

Perhaps when all is said and done, Mark Henry will fully appreciate the gravity of playing such a pivotal role in the ultimate outcome of UFC 205, but for the time being assuming a place in the annal read news >>

Ryan Bader Steps in to Face Rogerio Nogueira in UFC Sao Paulo Main Event | MMAWeekly.com

  • 23 days ago

Ryan Bader has agreed to step in and fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the UFC Sao Paulo main event. read news >>

Ryan Bader in for injured Alexander Gustafsson against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 100

  • 23 days ago

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will be moving from one ranked opponent to another with Ryan Bader stepping in for injured Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Fight Night 100.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Alexander Gustafsson off UFC Fight Night 100; Ryan Bader takes his place

  • 23 days ago

Alexander Gustafsson withdraws from UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo. He will be replaced by fourth ranked Light Heavyweight Ryan Bader.News broke yesterday via MMA reporter Ariel Helwani that number two ra read news >>

John Lineker vs. John Dodson: Did the Judges Get It Right or Wrong? | MMAWeekly.com

  • 22 days ago

We're going to let you decide. Do you think the judges got the John Lineker vs. John Dodson decision right or wrong? read news >>

UFC 204 preview: Michael Bisping looking to right a wrong against Dan Henderson

  • 18 days ago

Michael Bisping stepped in on short notice to win the middleweight championship, and now he is making his first defense in front of his home crowd and against a familiar foe in Dan Henderson. read news >>

UFC Statement on Ian Entwistle

  • 17 days ago

On the advice of physicians, and with the athlete's health and safety in mind, UFC has removed Ian Entwistle from his bout tomorrow night against Rob Font at UFC 204 in Manchester, England due to read news >>