Ryan Bader knows what can happen when you get ahead of yourself inside the Octagon.

That’s why “Darth” took a wait-and-see approach recently during his victory over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

With the third round finish, Bader improved to 7-1 over his last eight fights. The bout was his last on his current UFC contract, but the former Ultimate Fighter winner is expected to sign a new deal.

“Nogueira is always tough. I was surprised how tough he was again,” Bader said (thanks to MMA Fighting for the quotes). “The first round, I hit him with some hard shots. One thing I learned in my career is to be patient. Last time in Brazil I wasn’t patient, and I paid for it, so I picked my shots. I started to feel better in the third than I did in the first. I wasn’t rushing anything.

“I got the Lil’ Nog fight and now here we are. Look, I love the UFC and I love fighting in the UFC. Gotta make sense, though. I’ve been a top 5 for a while, and I want big fights. There’s a big fight coming up in December, so we’ll talk with them and see where we go from here.”