Ryan Bader is an All-American wrestler, winner of the Ultimate Fighter Season 8, and is the proud owner an amazing right hook. Those credentials alone should be enough to warrant this guy a successful career as a mixed martial artist. I’m not saying that he has not been successful because he definitely has. He has wins over some serious names like Rampage Jackson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueria.
Unfortunately, after his last fight, which was a knockout loss to Glover Teixeira, he has shown that he has yet to put it together as a fighter. He got over-confident and got caught right on the chin. It was a simple mistake and it cost him the fight.
There was once a time where everyone pegged Bader as the next big thing. After he won the Ultimate Fighter competition, he rattled off three straight wins and was set up to fight another up-and-comer. His opponent was named Jon Jones. Yup, Bones himself.
In a meeting that many people believed would show who the next star was, Bader was dominated. It was not even a fight. Jones took him down at will and used precise striking to show how uncomfortable Bader was on his feet. He choked him out in the second round. It was chalked up to inexperience — maybe he just bit off more than he can chew. That has been the story of his career though.
Bader is good enough to dominate the middle-of-the-pack guys. He makes them look like amateurs. Just when you think he can take on a top-five guy though, he messes up, like when Tito Ortiz was able to choke him out in a fight that Bader was supposed to dominate. It is because of these slip-ups against top competition that, for the time being, Bader is the best measuring stick that the light heavyweight division has.