One fighter who has suffered from the fallout of the recent Jon Jones situation, but has been totally overlooked until now, is light-heavyweight contender Ryan Bader. Bader was scheduled to fight Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC Fight Night 68 in June, a win could have immediately catapulted the number-five ranked 205-pounder into title contention. As we all know, however, Jones has been stripped of his title and suspended indefinitely, which led to Cormier taking his place in the UFC 187 main event fight against Anthony Johnson and Bader being scratched of the Fight Night card completely.
Now, without a fight scheduled, Bader still continues with his training, in hope of a big opportunity that will someday presents itself. In fact, the TUF 8 winner hopes to get the next shot at the title.
"This whole past week I've been training hard," Bader told Ariel Helwani during an appearance on Monday's MMA Hour. "I'm continuing to do what I was. I'm in the middle of camp right now. I was to fight Daniel Cormier, and now I have no clue. So this whole I've just been doing the same stuff, but not knowing what kind of opponent I'm training for, or if I'm training for an opponent, and who. Like I said earlier, do we fight just to get a paycheck and move on? Or, ultimately, do we want to be where DC is right now and fighting for that title. So we want the next shot."
Bader, who is currently on a four-fight winning streak, even tried to jump in for the suspended Jones and fight Johnson at UFC 187.
"You know, my manager and all that were calling [UFC president] Dana [White] and all that kind of stuff, and we definitely wanted that fight," he said. "I heard rumors early Sunday morning, and the first thing that popped in my mind was, I need to jump in there and fight Anthony Johnson. Se we were pushing for that and pushing for that."
But instead, Cormier, who has been beaten by Jones decisively in January, got the spot. There are rumors of a rematch between Bader and Glover Teixeira now. Teixeira is also without an opponent, after his scheduled fight against Alexander Gustafsson in Berlin has been cancelled, because the Swede got injured.
"I'm in this sport to win a championship," he said. "And so, if we can go to the UFC, and talk to Joe Silva or Dana and say hey, we get the winner, then I'm going to fight the winner of AJ and DC. That's a best-case scenario. We'll see in the next couple of days what else, what else happens...if Glover's still on the table or not."