When a man falls to the hands of defeat, he does one of two things: gets better or gets worse.
UFC light heavyweight Ryan Bader found himself in an 0-2 slump after kicking his mixed martial arts career off with a perfect 12-0 record.
"Darth Bader" would rebound in impressive fashion in a first-round knockout victory over Jason Brilz at UFC 139. However, Bader proved to be at an even higher level, as he walked out of the Saitama Arena in Saitama, Japan with the biggest victory of his MMA career.
Before even stepping foot inside the Octagon, Bader had already won an additional $50,000, as his opponent, Rampage Jackson, failed to make weight, missing by an eye-opening six pounds.
When action finally began, Bader demonstrated exceptional stand-up, holding the pace with a dangerous striker in Jackson. In fact, for the majority of the first frame, Bader held his own on his feet, winning Round 1 from all three judges' scorecards.
When the second and third round kicked off, Bader returned to his normal style. He put Jackson on his back and began to unload on vicious ground-and-pound elbows and strikes. Jackson had no answer, as Bader continued to look the best he's ever had before.
Not only was Bader able to dominate both the stand-up and ground game, he also displayed better-than-ever conditioning skills that allowed him to maintain an aggressive pace for the entire 15 minutes of the bout.
Bader was able to leave the country of Japan with the most meaningful victory of his career while making a statement to the rest of the light heavyweight division. His combination of stand-up, wrestling and an upbeat pace will allow him to become a whole new threat to his fellow 205-pounders.
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