Bader took on the heavy handed Johnson at UFC on FOX 18 in January, and the latter took him out in the opening round. The defeat snapped Bader’s five fight winning streak, and marked the first time he had lost since 2013.
Well, recently the powerful wrestler spoke to MMA Junkie.com, in advance of his September 10th scrap with Ilir Latifi. While doing so, here is some of what “Bader” had to say about the defeat, and what came out of it.
“My last fight was absolutely terrible,” Bader said. “I want to erase that from everybody’s memory. Some nights you just don’t show up.”
“I get to the point where I was on such a long winning streak that I thought I had to go out there and do whatever I had to do just to win because I’m that close to a title shot,” Bader added later in the story. “Now, I feel like I’m free, and I can go out there and have fun fights and really – I don’t want to say ‘not care,’ but just not care about all the external BS about it. Just go in there, fight like I know I can because that’s when I fight the best…”
Bader isn’t the first fighter to admit a loss relieved the pressure they were under, and now they feel free. Of course, we’ve also seen fighters struggle following devastating losses, even after they’ve claimed they were fine.
As Bader also noted in the story, however, he’s incurred crushing defeats before, and was able to come back. Case in point, in 2012 and 2013, Bader was taken out by Lyoto Machida and Glover Teixeira respectively. Then Bader proceeded to go and defeat contenders like Ovince Saint Preux, Rashad Evans and Phil Davis in the following years.