One of the fast rising prospects in the division, Ryan Bader (11-0) talked about his UFC 119 co-headlining bout against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-3). The two-time Division 1 wrestler says he's confident that his wrestling can neutralize Lil Nog's jiujitsu:
I do feel confident standing with Nog. He has great boxing, and great counter punches. The thing is, this is MMA and with 4 oz gloves on anything can happen. I feel that I hit very hard and have a good chin, so who knows a KO could happen.
He is very good on the ground and I am very good at my wrestling game. I have fought many black belts in my career and train with even more. I have to be smart when I’m on the canvas with Rogerio. He is very slick but I believe my wrestling can neutralize his Jiu Jitsu.
Bader also goes on to say that the Lil Nog's controversial victory against Jason Brilz did show some holes in his game:
I plan on finishing this fight any way I can; whether that is a KO or a TKO from ground & pound. Rogerio is an extremely hard fighter to finish but I am going to go in there and try to do just that... I am going to prepare to fight the best Nogueira that has ever fought. The Brilz fight did show me some holes in Nogueira’s game and some things to consider but I am going to try and go out and fight my fight.
After the jump, Ryan "Darth" Bader talks about the origin of his nickname.
Aaron Simpson was calling me "Darth" in college when he was a coach on ASU's wrestling team. After college I went to Arizona Combat Sports and they started calling me "Darth" without any previous knowledge so it just stuck with me. It is better than "Master Bader" so I will take Darth.