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Ryan Bader admits to being “out of it” after big slam from “Rampage” Jackson

As a young fighter in PRIDE, former light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson developed a reputation for dishing out damage with an arsenal of brutal slams, none more infamous than his power-bomb finish of Ricardo Arona. However, when it came to his bout against Ryan Bader this past weekend at UFC 144, few believed Jackson could channel the “Rampage” of old and wow the Japanese fans with another highlight reel slam given Bader’s accomplishments as an amateur wrestler.

Midway through the second round Jackson proved his critics wrong, scooping Bader up against the fence and slamming him down face-first to the mat. While Bader never lost consciousness the impact clearly injured him, something he openly admitted to in an interview with the UFC shortly after making his way backstage.

“I knew he was waiting for something because he was a little too relaxed right there with his head. He was just waiting for me to knee the head and he caught my leg,” explained Bader of the sequence resulting in Jackson’s biggest offense of the entire fight. “He’s a strong dude so he picked me up and slammed me right on my head, and I was out of it, honestly, for a little bit. But I recovered and that’s what it’s about, just staying in there and battling, and that’s what happened.”

While the 14-2 Bader has notched some notable victories since showing up in the UFC three years ago the 28-year old has no illusions when it comes to which of the lot is the most significant in his career.

“This is my favorite win of all time,” said Bader of his performance. “Coming in and winning the Ultimate Fighter, it’s not really in the UFC. You start over right when you get in the UFC. That’s what I learned, real quick. I had a couple of losses last year. Starting this year off right so getting a win over “Rampage”…he just fought for the title, Top 5 in the division…so I couldn’t have asked for more.”

No word has surfaced on what might be next for Bader though, if he has his way, it will involve a little time off rather than an immediate match-up.

Watch the full interview below:


  • MCM says:

    I think Bader had a bad run last year. Yeah, losing to Jones is not big deal, but he was completely dismissed after losing to Tito. Bader is one of the next gen superstars in the UFC and will be holding his place in the top 10 for several years as fighters like Rampage, the Nogs, Shogun and others slowly fade away.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Bader is certainly a talented fighter but I dunno, he just seems a bit stiff in the cage. And considering he’s a little over a year from turning 30, age isn’t really on his side as far next gen goes. I still see him as more of a gatekeeper type guy than superstar.

  • MCM says:

    Bader, Davis, Jones, Gustafsson, these are the next gen Rampage, Hendo, Shogun, Forrest. They’re gonna make their names off the old guard while the old guard is still a force to recon with.
    Age may not be on his side, but a lot happens in a very short time. 6 years from now, Bader will only be 34 and, most likely, just starting the down slope of his career. To give you an idea of what can transpire in 6 years. 6 years ago, Chuck was the undisputed King of the LHW division.

    I’m not a big fan of Baders, I just think he (like a couple others) gets overlooked when in reality, he’s a very dangerous guy.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    With the ongoing rapid emergence of MMA, with more & more athletes getting heavily involved at younger ages, the downward slope for most guys will start well ahead of their mid-30s.

    Looking at the current group of UFC champions, and tossing out old man Silva (cuz he’s an exception as the GOAT…and it helps with my argument, dammit!), the average age is 26-27 years old, with GSP the only other champ that’s reached 30. A guy like Bader is already on the wrong side of the hump.

    This isn’t really intended to poo-poo Bader as much as just offering a general point about the rapidly evolving landscape of MMA, which is pretty damn awesome.

  • Lord Faust says:

    I guess my intuition paid off; I had no idea about Rampage’s injury — and inability to make weight — until I had locked in my pick. I still think people will continue to write Bader off; I don’t know if he will be a champion at LHW, but I think he will have a better career than most people seem to be expecting.

    He’s a tough guy, he works hard, and he’s got a strong athletic base. I’m looking forward to seeing him develop further.

    Not that I expect them to ever rematch, but I’d take Bader in that one too. I love Rampage but father time makes fools of us all.


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