UFC Light Heavyweight Ryan Bader has a golden opportunity within his grasp at last night’s UFC Fight Night 28 main event against Glover Teixeira. Putting the Brazilian slugger in much more danger than we’d previously seen him, Bader nearly pulled off a huge upset.
Instead, he got knocked out, and it due to his fatal flaw of rushing in unguarded, similar to his loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC on Fox 4. Seeming to stun Teixeira with his boxing, Bader left an opening for a counter when he looked to swarm. ‘Darth’ also may have erred when he jumped into an early guillotine that cost him precious positioning. He knows what he did wrong, and detailed his mistakes after the fight:
"I was a little too aggressive. I wasn't staying tight, and I got caught with a right hand and a left hook, and that was it. I just got a little over-aggressive and tried to jump on the choke. I got back up and ended up kind of rocking him again, and it was the same thing. I felt good tonight. I made some mistakes, mental errors, and for me it's just going back and getting better. In this sport, you come up real quick and you go down quick, but it was a big fight for me and I'm right back where I want to be.”
Bader says he felt good at UFN 28, and indeed he looked good as well, at least for a time. His striking was crisp and he was moving well. But he’s going to need to shore up the holes in his game, mainly his over-aggression that lead to him going for the choke and charging in foolishly. At least he knows what he did wrong so he can correct his errors.
He’s got the talent to be a Top-10 UFC Light Heavyweight, there’s no doubt about that, but he seems to be getting in his own way. ‘Darth’ has a ton of power, athleticism, and technique. Problem is, he doesn’t always stay calm enough to use it. Hopefully he can return to form by addressing his issues, because he could be of the best. For now, he’ll be wondering if he will even fight a ranked fighter in his next bout.