(At that moment, Bader’s whole life flashed before his eyes, and the part about fighting Tito Ortiz at UFC 132 made him say, “No way, you gotta be shittin’ me!”)
Guess you have to give Ryan Bader partial credit for admitting to MMA Weekly on Friday that one of the reasons he wanted to fight Tito Ortiz was to erase from his mind the nightmarish memories of his UFC 126 fight with Jon Jones. On the other hand, we have to kinda call disingenuousness (aka bullshit) on the way Bader sort of tries to make it sound like this bout just fell into his lap (as we recall, he specifically called Ortiz out) and saying that he took the fight because he’s “an MMA fan” who just wanted to take on a legend. Check it out:
“Although it’s a step down in competition from Jon Jones and (Antonio Rogerio) Nogueira, I got a chance fight a guy like Tito, a legend of the sport, and we took it,” Bader said. “It’s almost like a novelty fight for me going in there and (fighting) a guy I grew up watching. I’m a fan and a fighter. I want to be a part of his legacy and vice versa. I want to have Tito Ortiz in my win column.”
Not to come off as overly cynical (Who? Us?), but we believe we’re already on record with our suspicion that a 27-year-old stud prospect who just saw his momentum freeze-tagged by his first career loss and now suddenly wants to fight a 36-year-old dinosaur who hasn’t notched a win in almost five years might have a bit more sinister motives than all that. If so, Bader ain’t showing his hand.
“I want to go out there and put on a great show and just erase the (Jones) fight from everyone’s memory,” Bader said. “I wanted to fight one of those guys like (Randy) Couture or Chuck Liddell or Tito because I’m an MMA fan.”
Nah, it’s cuz he needs a win. And for the record, nobody puts on “a great show” when they fight Ortiz. Usually they slog to a unanimous decision in a sloppy punching-based snoozer that everyone has already forgotten by the start of the main event. But good on Bader for admitting that one of the reasons he wants this fight is because he doesn’t want people to remember him as the guy who looked like he all but gave up after two rounds in the cage with Jones.
“After the (Jones) fight, honestly, it sucked,” Bader said.. “For a week straight, I kept on thinking about what I could have done and what I should have done and all that and it eats at you.”
Hey, don’t beat yourself up. It’s not your fault, Ryan. There’s nothing you could’ve done.