UFC Light Heavyweight contender Ryan Bader recently appeared as a guest on Submission Radio and spoke in-depth about his feud with UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier.
Below are some highlights from the interview, which you can listen to in full above.
Thoughts on Jon Jones hit and run: “Yeah so I got the call, kind of in that morning from my manager, saying there’s rumours around. And then I got, you know I was kind of campaigning to get that fight with Anthony Johnson. I was probably four weeks into my camp with DC and I was feeling good and still had about two and a half weeks left, and I felt like I could go in there and win that belt. And as it plays out, Jon Jones gets stripped and all that kind of stuff. So I think he’ll be out for a li’l while. I do think he’s going to come back at some point. You know, he’s going to have to go through the legal process here and figure out what’s going on with that. That’s going to take a while. Then he might have some civil suits on him and all that kind of stuff from the person he hit. So he’s going to have to deal with that for a while, you know and it definitely shook up the 205 pound division too. He was such a dominant champ and he beat a lot of tough guys, all in a row, all the title defences. And so he really opened this [division] up.”
What went through Ryan’s mind when he was walking to confront Daniel Cormier on stage at UFC 187 post-fight press conference and what he would have done if Security didn’t step in: “In my mind, when I was walking up there I was like “I wanna get my hands on him somehow”, you know. But walking up there – you know obviously the security guards and everything came up and kind of got in my way and grabbed me. And then you start thinking “I’m not going to make a fool of myself and flip over the table or try to hit him or slap him or something.”
“Going through my mind when I was walking up there, I wanted to slap him. But you know, we’re professionals and he’s actually been through that stuff before, and I don’t want to make a fool of myself and get into that kind of confrontation. So I just kind of backed off at the end there. But when he was yelling over me and he had the mic, ’cause nobody could hear me at all, I decided to walk up there. In my mind at the time it was the right thing to do”
“I’ve been thinking about that guy for a long time now. I was supposed to fight him one other time. Then I was supposed to fight him after Phil Davis. Was supposed to fight him in June. And we had plenty of time. We had lots of time to prepare for that fight, think about him, watch tape. And so I’ve been thinking about him ever since the Phil Davis fight, you know to this day. And for that to get pulled for me, it was just all kinds of frustration. And me not getting that shot, and seeing him as the champ too, and that could have been me and all that. But that’s beside the point. Now I just want to go out there fight him.”
On not getting the respect from DC that he deserves after all his fights in the UFC’s light heavyweight division “He drops down to 205 pounds, and then he fights Patrick Cummins and Dan Henderson, and then gets a title shot. He gets his butt whooped, and then gets gifted another title shot, and then finally wins the belt. You know, that’s pretty much the easiest path that I’ve ever heard or ever seen anybody getting that belt, the UFC belt. So for him to say that, then by his logic, then let’s do it. But I know I can go out there. I know I can beat him.”
“Yeah I haven’t gotten the respect, especially from him. So that’s why I wanna go out there, that’s why I wanna fight him, that’s why I wanna prove to him and everybody else that not only do I belong in the same octagon with him, I’m gonna beat him and I deserve to have that belt around my waist.”
On if Ryan thinks the fact that DC has lost to Jon Jones and never really beat him for the belt takes away from him being the real champion: “Yeah I kind of do. I have two thought processes on this whole situation. The first is; everybody in the 205 pound division, we didn’t get together and cast Jon Jones out because he was dominating or anything like that. You know? He put himself in this position. So we’re just making the best of what we have. What else can we do? We can’t sign a petition saying ‘Hey we want Jon Jones back, because this belt doesn’t feel right’. You know? So we just carry on business as usual, and our main goal is to fight those fights in front of us, win those fights, and ultimate goal is to have that belt around your waist. So we’re doing what we want, and have been striving to do since we were wrestling as little kids and what not.”
“On the other side of that, it does feel like a consolation prize. And same deal if I go in there and beat DC and I have that belt, I still know there’s somebody out there that never really lost the belt. It was kind of taken from him. So you know, until Jon Jones comes back and that belt holder fights him and beats him, then I would say you’re the real champ. But this belt definitely would make you feel like it’s a consolation prize, for sure. If I had it, if DC has it. Anybody really in the division”
On Ryan’s response to DC’s comments on the MMA Hour, saying he was disrespectful to Anthony Jonson and that Anthony should beat him up for it: “I think their [Cormier’s comments] are a bunch of BS. I never was disrespectful to Anthony Johnson at all. Like going back to what I was saying before the fight, DC is the one that came out there and did that interview saying I haven’t beaten anybody. I was just responding to that interview and that’s it. I sent out a tweet before the fight [saying] who I thought was going to win, and that was it. I thought DC was going to go out there, it was gonna be tough for the couple of first rounds, then DC would take control. And that’s what happened. And so I was in no way at all disrespecting Anthony Johnson. I was just going at Cormier after that interview, and he’s saying that I was disrespectful to DC also? That’s ridiculous. ”
“I think he talks so much that everything is a tangled web. He doesn’t remember what he said in the last interview and he can’t shut his mouth. So everything, he just keeps spewing out crap and then when you call him on something, you know it’s a whole other story. So he wants to fight me, he wants to shut my mouth, he wants this, and then he thinks I should fight him, and then he wants to fight Jon Jones, but Jon Jones is going to be out for a while, so he’ll fight me again. So who knows. I have no clue what he’s doing.”
Ryan expands on his comments from a recent interview saying that Daniel Cormier has changed: “Just randomly people come up and just say his whole demeanour [has changed] and he’s not the guy he used to be. And not even fighters or anything, just people; your regular Joe kickboxing, you know cardio-kickboxing people that go the gym. And so that’s what I was just saying, just that whole deal. We come from a wrestling background where we never got any accolades. You go out there, win nationals or become an All-American, you get a hug from your Mom and handshake from your Dad and that’s it. And that’s what we’re used to. And you go through your life humbly and you go into this whole MMA deal and people want your autograph and you’re like “Holy crap. Why do people want my autograph?”. And you respect the fans and just respect yourself and the sport itself. That’s what people love about MMA. They love that there’s no real divas and we’re all accessible, and they can come up and shake your hand and take a picture. And 99 precent of the fighters are like that. You know? I just don’t want to see Cormier or any other fighters start taking that Diva route. And so like you saw right when he came to the press-conference, he goes “address me as champ”. And you know he could be kind of joking around here and there, but you know I’ve been around him, and I can just see it just piling on, piling on, and pretty soon he’s going to be a full blown diva.”
On being able to threaten DC in areas other people can’t in their fight: “I just feel I can threaten him more than other people can. You know, on the mat, get him down with my takedowns and then put some power on him because I know he’d get hit.”
Official prediction on how he beats DC: “I’m gonna stop him. You know, I hate doing predictions. I hate doing – you know it’s so hard. You never know. People ask “what round you doing? What’s this?”. You have no clue in MMA. You know? I guarantee I’ll go out there, I’ll put on an exciting fight, and my goal is to go out there and stop him. And I want that belt so bad. I should be in this title fight. I want to fight DC. We’ve been scheduled before. But I guarantee you this, I’ll go out there, put it all on the line and take that belt.”