Ryan Bader rolled the dice by turning down a new UFC contract prior to his bout Saturday with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and it looks like that decision would very well pay off for “Darth”.
Bader battled Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 100, and dominated the action with his wrestling, before finishing the Brazilian legend in round three. With the win, Bader made sure he remains a top five ranked, light-heavyweight, as currently he’s ranked #4.
Well, not surprisingly, Bader was asked about his future at the post-fight press conference, since he’s about to test the free agent market. Here is what the powerful wrestler had to say (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I got the Lil’ Nog fight and now here we are,” Bader said. “Look, I love the UFC and I love fighting in the UFC. Gotta make sense, though. I’ve been a top 5 for a while, and I want big fights. There’s a big fight coming up in December, so we’ll talk with them and see where we go from here.”
It will be interesting to see what comes next for Bader. There’s no question that Bader has been one of the UFC’s top 205’ers for several years now. After all, this is a guy who has gone 8-2 in his last 10 fights. In addition, although wrestling is Bader’s base, he can finish fights, as evidenced in his last two outings.
But, if Bellator comes with a big time offer, will the UFC match and or better it? We shall see.