09 Jun - 
The curious case of Ryan Bader

Caught in an odd place in the Light Heavyweight division, the top 4 positions in the division have been cemented for so long. The clear kingpin being Jon Jones, then Daniel Cormier, then Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson and then Alexander Gustafsson. 

This seems to be the general consensus amongst, but not entirely true. Losing to Jones and Rumble definitively and leaving for Bellator. Most people seem to believe that Daniel Cormier is a terrible match up for Bader due to Cormier having a clear wrestling advantage, that being Bader’s biggest strength. However, the position of Gustafsson Vs. Bader was never settled, which is unfortunate due to how the division is right now with Middleweights moving up and getting title shots, one has to wonder where Bader would be positioned.

After Anthony Smith defeated Alexander Gustafsson which saw the retirement of Gustafsson the division is losing stars and is reliant on Middleweights no longer wanting to cut weight e.g. Anthony Smith, Luke Rockhold and Thiago Santos.

With lesser skilled wrestling talents like Corey Anderson making a name for himself one has to wonder where exactly Ryan Bader would fit in in the Light Heavyweight division as it seems evident that he has hit an even bigger stride than what he was previously accustomed to. With new talent coming into the division such as Johnny Walker, who is a striker one has to wonder where Ryan Bader would fit into this because he is such a force when it comes to takedowns he’d be hard to deny a title shot if he was still with the UFC.

Victories Over:

  • Fedor Emelianenko
  • Matt Mitrione
  • Muhammed Lawal
  • Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (2x)
  • Linton Vassell
  • Ilir Latifi
  • Phil Davis (2x)
  • Vinny Magalhaes
  • Ovince Saint Preux
  • Keith Jardine
  • Rashad Evans
  • Rampage Jackson
  • Rafael Cavalcante
  • Vladimir Matyushenko


  • 3x Pac 10 Championship
  • 2x NCAA D1 All-American
  • State of California BJJ Purple Belt (Gi & NoGi) Gold Medalist
  • The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 Winner
  • Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion
  • Bellator Heavyweight Champion
  • Bellator Heavweight World Grand Prix Champion



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