More than a few folks were surprised to hear that the UFC is planning to tap Alexander Gustafsson for a title shot, rather than Ryan Bader, and the latter’s manager has commented on the situation.
For a few weeks now, Bader and Daniel Cormier have been swapping verbal shots through the press and social media, and then they had their well documented ‘interaction’ after UFC 187. Since Bader has won four straight, is ranked #3 at 205, and has quite the feud going with the newly crowned champ, a lot of people assumed “DC” vs. “Darth” was next.
Well, recently UFC boss man Dana White relayed the promotion is looking at Cormier-Gustafsson instead. When asked about the UFC’s decision, here is what Bader’s manager, David Martin, had to say to FOX Sports:
“It’s a little disheartening, but it’s also educational in understanding that winning isn’t necessarily everything in MMA,” Martin said. “Entertainment clearly is the most important factor and it’s something I’m going to have to discuss with a number of my fighters who come from wrestling backgrounds where winning is the only thing that matters.”
That’s an interesting way of looking at it, as Bader is a very aggressive fighter who has scored some highlight reel finishes during his career. But, he is coming off four consecutive, decision victories, so that may have played a role in the UFC’s decision.
Gustafsson is definitely a pretty big name, particularly since his epic fight with Jon Jones in 2013.
Now it will be interesting to see who the UFC matches Bader up against next. What about Anthony Johnson?