Ryan Bader stormed to the title of Ultimate Fighter winner by being aggressive and showcasing excellent wrestling. After a pair of losses to Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz, however, “Darth” was unhappy with his changes in fighting style.
Now, after refocusing himself in camps with the likes of Aaron Simpson, the former NCAA Div. I All-American wrestler from Arizona State University feels like he is ready to put on a display that will impress the MMA world.
Bader faces Jason Brilz in a light heavyweight tilt this Saturday night at UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson. The bout will be televised by Spike TV.
“I’m going back to being that same fighter, but a more technically sound fighter,” said Bader, in a recent interview with UFC’s website. “I think I was missing some aggressiveness and was flat in the last couple fights. Looking at my training camps, I think I was over-training. The first fight with Jones was my first loss and a big fight, but what happened with Tito – I had to just put it behind me and move on.”
Bader’s new head coach, Tom Vaughn, has helped give him a sense of direction. He also started a gym with Simpson and C.B. Dollaway in Arizona called Power MMA & Fitness.
“He (Vaughn) has helped us out a tremendous amount. Having that game-planning, having that overall head coach. He’s been in the game for a while and he knows MMA,” Bader said. “I feel like a totally new fighter, especially in the stand-up area. I’ve learned from that loss and I’m happy with all the changes we made.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC