Ryan Bader made another strong move up the light heavyweight ladder this past Saturday night when he defeated Ovince Saint Preux in the main event of Fight Night 47. The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 winner dominated the surging former Strikeforce vet throughout the 25-minute affair to pick up his third consecutive victory in as many showings inside the Octagon.
While the heavy-handed former Arizona State University wrestling standout is known for having devastating power in his right hand, the 31-year-old decided to take a grappling-heavy approach against "OSP." Time and time again Bader used his super wrestling and athleticism to put Saint Preux on his back and controlled the action every step of the five-round event to pick up his fourth win in his past five outings.
Throughout the tilt, Bader's signature overhand right was in short supply, and apparently for good reason. Following his victory on Saturday night, it was revealed the Power MMA leader suffered a fracture in his right hand in his preparation for the fight, which was the same hand the fighter had surgically repaired following his victory over Anthony Perosh last December.
Yet despite being faced with a new obstacle to overcome, Bader decided to battle through the injury and ultimately picked up one of the most important victories of his career. While vague, Bader referenced the injury in a message on his Twitter account post-fight.
Wasn't pretty but got the job done. Had to work around some things in camp w/ some injuries & he was a tough dude. Thx to my team at Power.— Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) August 17, 2014
Jose Youngs of ArizonaSports.com provided details and updates on the injury on his personal Twitter account.
Update on Bader's hand injury (1/3): Bader fractured his hand 5 weeks ago in the same spot he broke it during the Perosh fight last December— José Youngs (@JoseYoungs) August 18, 2014
Bleacher Report was also able to speak with Bader's manager, Dave Martin, who confirmed the injury was suffered during the final weeks of training camp, but assured corrective surgery will not be necessary.
"Ryan did injure his hand in a sparring session several weeks out from the fight," Martin said. "He wanted to push through and fight, so he decided to use a removable cast on his hand, which pretty much eliminated his ability to use it in the final weeks of his camp. He was still able to train and keep his conditioning up but wasn't able to spar in the final few weeks of his camp. That said, he still went out there, fought a great fight and picked up a big win.
"The great thing is that this injury will not require surgery and he's going to take some time off to allow some other nagging injuries to heal up. His wife is going to have their third child any day now, and he obviously needs some time to allow his body to heal and enjoy his personal life before he jumps back into the Octagon."
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.