While much of the buzz regarding today’s UFC on FOX 14 card is regarding Alexander Gustafssson versus Anthony Johnson, there’s no question that there’s several interesting story lines tied to Ryan Bader’s bout with Phil Davis.
While the winner of Gustafsson-Johnson will advance to face light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, the winner of Bader-Davis won’t be too far out from a title shot either. Davis is currently ranked #5, and while Bader is positioned at #7 and has been defeated by Jones before, he has won three straight fights.
Not only is the bout a compelling one from a rankings perspective, but it also features two, All-American wrestlers. In fact, Bader and Davis wrestled when they were in college, and the latter ended up winning the match by a 3-1 margin.
Of course, what will unfold today will be far different than a wrestling match, which is why Bader recently made the case for why he believes his MMA wrestling is better than “Mr. Wonderful’s”. While speaking to FOX Sports.com, here is some of what Bader had to say:
“I do as far as going in and blowing through people and getting the takedown. Phil puts himself in trouble a lot of times because he doesn’t really have that explosive shot,” Bader said. “I don’t think he ever did during his wrestling career. He was a guy who got into scrambles and got a second shot kind of thing. You’ll see it a lot against guys like Glover (Teixeira) where he’ll shoot not a great shot, but he’ll do a second shot from his knees and try to grab the legs or he’ll tie you up and trip you.
“I feel like in this fight I have the better MMA wrestling and I have that power advantage, too. I have the ability to end the fight. He hasn’t been stopped in his career and I want to be the first guy to stop him and I believe I can.”
Interesting no? Davis has certainly used his wrestling game and dangerous skills to score some pretty impressive wins during his UFC run, but it’s worth noting he has struggled against experienced wrestlers in Rashad Evans and Anthony Johnson. We’ll see how it all plays out soon enough.
UFC on FOX 14 will be hosted by the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm. Sweden.