Ryan Bader’s Unimpressive Win Keeps Him As UFC Gatekeeper
It wasn’t pretty at all, but Ryan Bader got the job done again. A perennial top-ten fighter in the Light Heavyweight division, Bader has put together a nice little winning streak, adding the name of Ovince St. Preux to his resume last night. Bader was able to use his stellar wrestling to completely neutralize the attacks of St. Preux. Like I said, it wasn’t pretty, but he was able to get the win against a top-ten opponent so it says something about Bader. But is just getting the job done in the UFC enough?
My first thoughts are absolutely not. In the UFC, stars are made and fan favorites are created because of two reasons. One is an athlete goes all out, leaving blood, sweat, tears and his or her heart in the Octagon. That is how a fan favorite is created. On the other hand, fans and the UFC love finishers who can go into the Octagon and put people away. It proves a point and also generates a lot of buzz, because people want to see a definitive winner. Bader, unfortunately, doesn’t have either of those characteristics.
Bader is a good fighter; he is in the top ten of the division after all. However, he hasn’t finished anyone this year. He also hasn’t been involved in a great fight in his career. I know that might sound harsh to say, but Bader has never really been in an all-out, drag-down fight. Until he starts finishing some people or getting into crazy brawls, I doubt that Bader will start getting the big names. Instead, he will maintain his position as the gatekeeper to the top-ten.