Recently Ryan Bader argued that fighting Anthony Johnson next doesn’t make much sense, and clearly “Rumble” doesn’t agree with “Darth’s” take on the situation.
Bader is coming off a decision win over fellow light-heavyweight contender Rashad Evans at UFC 192, and since the victory, he’s resumed his campaign for a title shot. Since Jon Jones could be set to make his UFC return in 2016, the consensus is that Bader won’t fight the champ, Daniel Cormier next.
As a result, there’s been a lot of talk about Johnson fighting Bader, but recently the latter shot down that idea. Well, obviously Johnson caught wind of the comments, as the feared slugger recently posted this on Facebook:
Just read that Ryan Bader said he’s the number one contender. Well, imo, he isn’t by any means. How can a true athlete feel that he/she is the next best in line for a title shot when they haven’t fought anybody in the top 3 of rankings?
Have some pride! Don’t run or hide…
Let’s fight to see who’s the real number one contender.
I WANT TO FIGHT YOU RYAN BADER! I respect you and your abilities, but LET’S FIGHT AND SEE WHO’S THE REAL NUMBER ONE CONTENDER!
Are you up for the challenge? I’ll be waiting, Sir…
One can understand why Bader’s still calling for a title fight, as until Jones is actually reinstated, why not? If it wasn’t for the probable return of the former champ, Bader would almost certainly be tapped to fight Cormier next.
But, since Jones is expected to return in 2016, and Cormier’s said he wants to take a break in the interim, one would think Bader-Johnson will be coming to a TV near you soon. The UFC has shown in recent years that it doesn’t want contenders sitting on the sidelines for six, eight months if another big fight can be booked.
Further, what if Cormier defeats Jones? Would a rubber match be in order?
Johnson challenged Cormier for the vacant title in May, and was submitted by the decorated wrestler. Most recently, he KO’d Jimi Manuwa at UFC 191 in September.