The big loser of the whole situation involving Jon Jones being stripped of his title and Daniel Cormier jumping in against Anthony Johnson to win the vacant belt is Ryan Bader.
Bader was supposed to fight Cormier last Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night 68, a fight that could have easily positioned the No. 3 ranked 205-pounder as the new top contender in his weight class. But the fight got scrapped when Cormier replaced the suspended Jones. Bader, who is on a four-fight win streak, wasn’t even considered to receive Jones’ spot, even though Cormier has lost against Jones in his last fight.
That’s why, well before Cormier won the belt, Bader had a verbal disagreement with him that almost escalated into a fist fight. So when Cormier became the new champ, everybody — even himself — thought, Bader would get the first crack at his belt. But no, the TUF 8 winner was left behind like dust in the wind, as the next title shot has been handed to Alexander Gustafsson — a man that has lost two out of his last three fights, including a brutal stoppage against Johnson in his last outing in January.
It is a decision, that is beyond Bader’s understanding, as he explained to Ariel Helwani in the latest episode of The MMA Hour
“Gus is a great fighter,” Bader said. “He’s awesome. But he just doesn’t deserve that shot right now coming off of a loss like that.”
Bader feels, with his wrestling skills, he can pose a bigger threat to Cormier than Gustafsson with his standup.
“I thought I matched up really well with Cormier and [could] give him problems that other people haven’t,” Bader said. “I think he can go in there and beat Gus and use his wrestling. I definitely felt that I was the more dangerous fight, for sure.”
No date has been set for the Cormier-Gustafsson fight yet. Meanwhile, a fight against the returning Rashad Evans is in talks for Bader, but likely won’t happen until fall. Bader hasn’t fought since January of this year.
(Transcription via MMA Fighting)
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