Jones Bader

Bader: More Fighters Finding Success Against Jones

Two-weight Bellator champion Ryan Bader believes UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones has become more beatable in recent fights.

Jones has endured underwhelming title defenses as of late. Although he clearly defeated Anthony Smith last year on his way to a unanimous decision, it wasn’t in impressive fashion.

An injured Thiago Santos then took Jones to his first split decision victory before Dominick Reyes took him to his limit in a highly-debated unanimous decision win for the champion which many feel he lost.

Bader — who suffered his first career defeat to Jones back in 2011 — has already expressed an interest in running things back. And that’s even more so the case now that “Bones” has seemingly lost his untouchable aura.

“Guys are coming up and they’re getting better but I think there is a big mental game,” Bader told Bloody Elbow. “Years and years ago, Jon Jones was untouchable. You couldn’t win a round against him. As you start seeing other people be successful, you stop walking out there like, ‘I can’t beat this guy.’ You start thinking, ‘I can definitely beat him. Look how close others have come. Why not me?’

“For me, I want that fight back because he’s the best. He’s the greatest effort. I feel like I’m in my absolute prime and I’m the best I’ve ever been.”

In reality, a rematch is unlikely given that Bader is the light heavyweight and heavyweight king at Bellator.

But perhaps now is as good a time as any for Francis Ngannou to face Jones in a super fight.

Do you agree with Bader? And how do you think he fares in a rematch with Jones?

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.