If light heavyweight champion Jon Jones retains his title against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 in May, he will have essentially cleared out the 205-pound division. He’ll hold wins over the top six ranked fighters in the weight class with rematches on the horizon.
“I want to go out there and I want to stop him. I want to make a statement, to go out there and knock him out and earn this title shot,” Bader said about the Cormier bout during a recent installment of Submission Radio.
Cormier’s Olympic level wrestling separates him from most of his opponents, but Bader also has an impressive resume in amateur wrestling. He’s a two-time NCAA Division I All-America at Arizona State University, and a three-time PAC-10 Conference Champion. Bader believes he can negate Cormier’s takedowns and impose his will on the Louisiana native.
“He’s been fighting a lot of guys that aren’t really wrestlers. He fought Pat Cummins, yes, and he’s fought Jones. He lost to Jones, and we didn’t see too much in the Cummins fight,” said Bader.
“I think a lot of times people are just kind of surprised with that whole wrestling. He has some different things that if you’re not aware of, and you’re not in that wrestling world, you’re not thinking they’re much. When Daniel Cormier gets a hold of you, you’re going for a ride,” added The Ultimate Fighter 8 winner.
“There are little things that can negate his takedowns and all that kind of stuff. It’s just high level wrestling, and people that don’t know much about wrestling and step in there with Cormier, and obviously he’s a very confident, very good wrestler, they’re going to have a tough time.”
Historically, when two wrestlers are matched up against one another, the fight ends up playing out on the feet. And that’s where Bader believes he’s going to out-class Cormier.
“I feel I can put my hands on him, and I feel like if I can put my hands on anybody in the division I can knock them out,” he said. “I know I’m going to hit Cormier. So I just feel comfortable. I feel like if he takes me down I’ll get back up. I feel like I have the ability to take him down, have the ability to land some heavy shots on him, and put him away, really.”
While no one can deny Cormier’s wrestling ability, Bader believes the Olympian is predictable with his striking.
“Cormier, you can hit him. He comes straight forward. You know what he’s going to do,” said Bader. “He’s going to come straight in your face. He’s going to try and bully you with that over-tie with punches, and then with his single leg in wrestling.”
Cormier’s lone defeat is to the pound-for-pound best, Jon Jones. Bader has studied the fight footage and plans to hand Cormier his second career loss.
“After watching that title fight, you know, that’s his first loss. He had a taste of that and I’m going to give him another one.”