Ryan Bader may no longer be contracted by the UFC, but he still believes he ranks amongst the promotion’s best.
Bader was with the UFC from 2008 to 2016. A near 10-year run with the company. He finished his contract on a two-fight win streak before opting to sign with Bellator. Bader is on a three-fight win streak with Bellator, winning his last two fights via TKO.
“Darth” currently reigns as the Bellator light heavyweight champion. With his recent success, he tells MMA Fighting he feels as though he ranks amongst the UFC’s best 205-pounders:
“It depends what (Alexander) Gustafsson was doing, where they’d want to put him, but I think I’d be one of the No. 1 contenders,” Bader said. “I beat the guy that’s ranked No. 3, and OSP’s in there, and a couple of other guys. I was always right there.
“But I think I’d be right under Cormier, Gustafsson being out having [not] fought in so long. They always like to put him above me because of the bigger fights that he had, but I’d be right there.”
Tonight (Fri. October 12, 2018) Bader will participate in the semi-finals of the Bellator heavyweight Grand Prix tournament. He’ll take on Matt Mitrione in the main event of Bellator 207. Be sure to stick with LowKickMMA for our live coverage of the event tonight.