With four straight grinding wins under his belt, no. 3-ranked UFC light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader made a few headlines by having an impromptu confrontation with recently crowned champion Daniel Cormier at last weekend’s UFC 187 post-fight press conference.
Bader has been very active in trying to speak up for the next shot at the belt, but now it’s become a bit personal with he and Cormier. Elaborating on the rivalry during an appearance on The Three Amigos Podcast (via Bloody Elbow), Bader said Cormier has had an easy road to the title and should just fight him:
“At the press conference he tried to embarrass me and tell me I’m the easiest fight in the division and blah blah. Well we should fight then, because that’s his M.O. He’s had the easiest road to the title anyone has ever had, so why not fight me? That’s what I want. I want to fight this dude whether it’s for a title or not. All I want to do is get in there and fight him.”
Bader believes success has apparently gone to Cormier’s head, as he’s now gone ‘bigtime’ according to the two decorated wrestlers’ mutual friends:
“”I think Daniel Cormier has always had a big mouth and everything, but I’ve been around him here and there and he was good and respectful a couple of years ago. I get the whole turning heel and saying, ‘Don’t address me as Daniel, address me as champ,’ and all of that kind of douchey stuff, I see what you’re doing, you’re trying to turn heel so you’re playing it up.
“But we have mutual friends that say, ‘He’s changed,’ and ‘He wasn’t there for me at this point,’ and tell me they’ve seen a change in him at the gym or whatnot. That’s somebody I don’t respect. I get playing the game and doing what you need to do to build fights, but when it comes down to personal stuff and you’re going bigtime and letting stuff go to your head, that’s what I don’t respect at all.”
‘Darth’ isn’t usually known for his trash talk, but Cormier is getting under his skin. He believes he’s only one of many fighters who have fallen victim to ‘DC’s’ endless callouts and trash talk, and Bader also thinks that may be due to his insecurities of not being the true champion:
“There’s a common denominator here. Everybody has problems with Cormier. He talks smack with Jon Jones, with Patrick Cummins, with me. He should be enjoying his time as champ at the press conference instead of calling me out. I didn’t start that whole deal, he did. I feel like he has some insecurities that he’s not the real champ. I think there’s something going on in his head that makes him need to call out Jon Jones and call me out, and I don’t think he knows what’s going on in there.”
Pulling no punches, Bader then closed with some harsh criticism, calling Cormier an undeserving champion who is already the most arrogant:
“He loves himself and he can’t shut his mouth. He’s got a big head, he’s the least deserving champion, and he’s already the most arrogant champion out there after a whole three days.”
Photo Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports