(God help Bader if he decides to yoga in that outfit while Rumble is in the building.)
As crazy as it may sound to haters like Uproxx’s Jessica Hudnall, Ryan Bader should be looking at a title shot right now. He’s won five straight in a weight class that is nearly impossible to do so in, he’s done so over increasingly impressive competition, and he’s looked more and more well-rounded with each performance. On the heels of a one-sided decision win over returning former champ Rashad Evans, it seemed as if Bader was all but guaranteed to be the man to face the winner of Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier (which FYI, will be Jon Jones).
But if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the modern era of the UFC, it’s that Reebok Fight Kits are terrible. If there’s a second thing we’ve learned, it’s that title fights are *never* guaranteed. As such, Bader has once again been passed over and instead booked against his toughest opponent to date…
Last night’s edition of UFC Tonight broke the word that Bader will take on Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in the main event of the UFC’s first FOX card of 2016, which goes down on January 30th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
After coming up short in his own title bid against Cormier, Johnson bounced back by bouncing Jimi Manuwa‘s head off the canvas repeatedly, scoring a second round knockout and a “Performance of the Night” bonus in the process. Aside from the loss to Cormier, Johnson has been undefeated in some 9 fights dating back to his last stint in the UFC.
If you’re wondering how Bader feels about what should be an unfortunate development for anyone who appreciates having brain cells, well, he’s taking it about as well as one can. (via Fox Sports)
It’s more palatable that it’s Jon Jones coming back and getting it than the whole (Alexander) Gustafsson situation coming off a knockout loss and all that.
For me, it looks like I’ve got to beat all these guys in the top five to get a shot. For me, having a big main event on FOX and fighting Anthony Johnson and he’s ranked No. 1 and that’s where we want to be. Obviously, I wanted to title shot but that’s not happening. The next best thing is this fight.
I’ll give Bader this much: I don’t think I’ve ever heard a fighter call a match with Rumble “the next best” option to *anything*, unless that next best thing was “wearing a Reebok Fight Kit.”
See, I had a plan for that joke all along!! How is it that I get paid so little to do this?!!
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