Ryan Bader has won five straight fights in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, and eight of his last ten overall, but despite more success than most others in that field, a title fight has eluded him. Now, much of that is pinned on a style that hasn’t exactly led to thrilling performances in victory for the 32-year-old, but results are results, and at some point he may not be able to be denied.
It may not mean much, but UFC President Dana White said this week that Bader’s next fight, a UFC on Fox 18 headlining bout this month with Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, could potentially be the catalyst to that shot.
“Bader has been on a run,” White said on Fox Sports 1’s latest episode of UFC Tonight. “Bader’s wanted a shot at [Cormier]. If he can get through the monster of Johnson, he’ll deserve his shot.”
That fight takes place over five rounds from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on January 30.
Penick’s Analysis: It really doesn’t mean much for Bader, honestly. He deserved a shot when the UFC decided to instead give Alexander Gustafsson his against Daniel Cormier. “Deserve” has nothing to do with things at light heavyweight right now, and a large part of that goes back to Bader’s lack of thrilling or even overall entertaining wins during this stretch. He may yet get his shot, and a win over Johnson will go a long way, but “promised” or “earned” title fights don’t always come to pass in this sport.
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