Ryan Bader Believes Now is His Time for a Title Shot
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 08.13.2014
He faces Ovince St. Preux on Saturday…
USA Today Sports (via MMAjunkie) recently spoke with No. 8-ranked UFC light heavyweight Ryan Bader ahead of his upcoming UFC Fight Night 47 main event bout against Ovince St. Preux. The fight card is set for Saturday. Below are some highlights.
Bader on his belief that he is ready for a title shot now: "In the past I don't think I was ready for it. It would have been a good opportunity, but if I had fought for the title, it wouldn't have been my time because I wasn't the fighter I wanted to be. I believe now is my time. If I get to the point where I have a title shot, I am the fighter I want to be, and I can go out there and take that title. In the past, looking back, I don't think I had the skills or the experience or the mental aspect of it that's necessary, but now I do. It's the right time."
Bader on how Aaron Simpson has helped as his coach: "Aaron Simpson took over the coaching at Power MMA in Arizona and put a team together around us. It's definitely helped a lot with my boxing and feeling comfortable. So then it's just been about finding what works for me. If you look back at all of my fights, when I've wrestled, I've won. In my other fights – look at Tito, Machida or the Glover fight – it was when I was trying to kickbox the whole time, feinting shots, not trying to go in and get shots. That's when I got in trouble. When I mix it all up – my boxing, my wrestling and jiu-jitsu – like I have in my last couple of fights, it's worked out well."
Bader on his fight with Glover Teixeira: "Last time I was in the main event, it was in Brazil against Glover. I came close, but ultimately it resulted in me losing. That had a lot to do with both patience and being composed, and I definitely learned my lesson since then. In my last couple of fights since then, you've seen me be a little more composed in there as far as when I've had somebody hurt or whatnot. I didn't give my opponents the openings that I did in previous fights. So in this one, I'm just more experienced as far as dealing with the whole media stuff with the main event. I've been in the game for a long time now – this is my 15th fight in the UFC. I'm just excited. I want to keep this momentum rolling – a three fight winning streak – and finish ‘OSP.'"
Bader on now being a good time for him: "I'll be on a three-fight winning streak and looking to fight one of those top-3 or top-5 guys, and I think now is the right time. For me, going out there and beating ‘OSP' is going to put me in the next position where I could be one fight away from the title. I'm looking to have a good, exciting fight. I think we match up pretty well, and this fight should turn out to be an exciting one. We're going to try to take each other out. I know he wants it because he's up-and-coming and he wants to get to the next level. So do I, and my next level is that title. That's where we're at."