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UFC 144 Results: Ryan Bader Is No Longer a Prospect, He's a Contender

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Nedu ObiAnalyst IIFebruary 26, 2012

At UFC 144, Ryan Bader proved to MMA’s aficionados that he no longer resides in the ranks of the prospects, but in the classifications of the title contenders to the 205-lb. championship.

To be honest, the only reason “Darth” has found himself on the outside looking in for the past year or so, is due to a dismal 2011, a near enough annus horribilis which saw him give up a more than likely spot on the podium for title contendership.

His submission defeat to current light heavyweight kingpin Jon “Bones” Jones didn’t help his cause, and further loss to veteran Tito Ortiz put paid to any chances of vying for the crown anytime soon.

However, with focus and a determination to succeed, he dusted himself down and registered a much needed win against Jason Brilz at UFC 139.

Bader (14-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) has now followed that up with a hard fought victory over former UFC light heavyweight titlist and Pride legend Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

Putting his wrestling skills to good use, he out-grappled the older Rampage for much of the match and even when the latter slam-dunked his head on the canvas, Bader weathered the storm and prevailed to snatch the unanimous decision.

Though, the 28-year-old Bader is still on the road to redemption, but several more fights (with the division’s top-10 contenders) in his win column should be enough to propel him to a title shot with whosoever is in possession of the belt at that time.

 

For additional information, follow Nedu Obi on Twitter.

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