Fresh off the biggest win of his career over Rashad Evans at UFC 192, UFC Light Heavyweight Ryan Bader joined the folks at Submission Radio (embedded above) for an interview to talk about his status as a contender and much more. Now riding a five fight win streak with all but the first fight (a decision win over Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh) being against ranked contenders, he’s clearly the most deserving contender for Daniel Cormier…unless Jon Jones returns first.
Is Bader happy that Cormier beat Alexander Gustaffson?
Yeah I am. Right now, outside of Jon Jones coming back, I think we have that fight. So I finally get that shot. It’s been a long time in the making. I think we spoke a little bit about going all the way back to when he actually fought Dan Henderson. You know, we were in the running to get that fight with DC and we didn’t. Dan Henderson got that fight. And then we were obviously scheduled to fight in June. That didn’t happen. And he went out there and won the title – which I was trying to get that fight with AJ – and then we had our little dust up and what not, and I figured, now is going to be the time. I’m gonna get my shot. I finally get to fight this guy. And that didn’t happen. So you know, it’s long overdue, and I’ve more than earned my shot, having five wins in a row, in a tough division, against tough competition. So I just don’t see who else.
But why didn’t he call anyone out during his post-fight interview?
Oh at the end there, I thought [Joe Rogan] was going to ask me about it. I thought Joe was going to ask me “what’s next?”, and then he kind of just…it didn’t slip my mind, but I was just going to let them…you know, I feel I just earned my shot there and I didn’t have to talk anymore. You know, going back to us talking about not shit-talking and all that, and other people who end up eating their words. So I’m not like that unless I’m provoked, really. And so for me, I was just being positive in that moment. Maybe I should have [called somebody out], but it is what it is.
Could he be passed over for a title shot again if Jones returns?
That’s the thing, there’s so many variables. I don’t know. The variables that I can control were Rashad, you know, going out there and beating Rashad. So I did that, got that done. So where do we go from here? I don’t know. We’re waiting on Jon Jones’ situation. So there’s really not much I can do. But as of my mindset right now, I’m fighting Daniel Cormier, and we’re seeing what’s going to happen with Jones, until Jones comes back. So we’ll see.
Would he sit out and wait for the winner if he’s passed over again?
I don’t know. Title shots don’t grow on trees, you know? So if you’re offered one, you gotta take that for sure. I don’t want to sit there and be baited into a fight that doesn’t make sense, just to fight. My ultimate goal is to go out there and win that title. It all depends, there’s too many hypotheticals out there. You know, what if, what if? Who knows what happens? We’ll cross that road when Jon Jones’ situation is given out to the public [in regards to] what’s happening. But as of right now, my mindset is, I’m fighting Daniel Cormier until we hear what happens with Jones. So I don’t know. That’s my mindset right now.
What does he think of Anthony Johnson wanting to fight him next, though?
The whole thing with that, you know, some media ran with that. He just Tweeted something about “I never said anything about Bader or whatever, but I will take the fight”. You know for me, I’m looking at fights that make sense right now. He had his shot, let me get my shot. Gustafsson just had his shot. Who’s in front of me? Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson. I have a five-fight winning streak right now – the longest one in the UFC in their Light heavyweight [division] by far. So for me, these guys all got to get there shot, and you’re going to keep on recycling them? So I think I deserve it enough to go out there and fight Cormier. Why would I just take the fights just to take a fight?
Bader talks about even more in the audio of the interview, so check it out.