Ryan Bader has accepted the fact that he won’t challenge Daniel Cormier in the latter’s first title defense, but he still believes he would give the new champ a tougher test than Alexander Gustafsson will.
Most folks under the MMA sun believed Bader would be the first man to face the newly crowned champion, but then UFC boss man Dana White announced that they want to book Cormier-Gustafsson.
Of course, you can understand why Bader would be upset by the news, since he’s won four straight, while Gustafsson’s coming off a loss to Anthony Johnson. Well, “Darth” appeared on The MMA Hour recently, and had this to say (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“Gus is a great fighter,” Bader said. “He’s awesome. But he just doesn’t deserve that shot right now coming off of a loss like that.”
Yes. That seems to be the opinion a lot of people share these days. Bader also relayed the following, in terms of how he matches up against Cormier, versus “The Mauler”:
“I thought I matched up really well with Cormier and [could] give him problems that other people haven’t,” Bader said. “I think he can go in there and beat Gus and use his wrestling. I definitely felt that I was the more dangerous fight, for sure.”
While there’s no doubt that Cormier is among the very best in terms of his wrestling pedigree, Jon Jones was not able to exploit Gustafsson in that department during their epic, 2013 bout.
The report also noted that the UFC is looking at matching Bader up against Rashad Evans in the fall, which would make a lot of sense. Since both men are top five ranked 205’ers, that would serve as a nice title shot eliminator no?