POLL: Will Ryan Bader Ever Be More Than A High-Level Gatekeeper?


Despite not having won a world championship, Ryan Bader is unquestionably one of the best fighters to have emerged from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) series.

The winner of TUF season 9 is now a UFC veteran with fifteen appearances in the promotion to his name, holding a respectable record of 11-4 inside the Octagon. He’s proven himself to be one of the light-heavyweight division’s best with wins over former champions and dangerous completion.

However, he’s never been able to get past the “light-heavyweight elite” which has stopped him from moving into contender status and led some people to label him as a gatekeeper. He’s on a good run now with three-straight wins but he’s still way behind the division’s top 5.

Which leaves the question; Will “Darth” ever be more than just a gatekeeper?

Cast your vote and take a look at the results below: 

  • Ivy

    I think so. Like all good fighters he's improving his craft. He may fall short at times facing elite, but he's dope against virtually everyone else. If he keeps focusing on improving his strengths and weaknesses I could see him rising to the top again.

  • Well you can't never say never, I mean he is only 31, and every loss is against former champions and Glover. I think he can get a title shot one day, he have the talent and awesome wrestling so, he just need to find a problem, and he have only 4 loses. Anderson Silva had 4 loses before got UFC belt.

  • Sorry…I just woke up from the FN main event. What was the question?

  • I don't really see him being a title contender I think he will settle into Josh Koscheck status. The only real top level fighter he beat was Rampage Jackson in fact he's only beaten 3 fighters ranked in the top 15 at light heavyweight.(ranks 10, 12 and 14) Bader hasn't really improved his boxing and striking much nor has he seemed to improve his submissions skills. The name of the game is mixed martial arts not just wrestling. It reminds me of Bisping who never developed strong wrestling or more power in his punches. Both fighters have enough skill to hang in there but not challenge for a title.

  • Bader wont beat anyone in the top 5, so he'll always be a top level gatekeeper.