In the main event of UFC Fight Night 100, which took place live from Sao Paulo, Brazil on Saturday evening, UFC light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader extended his winning streak to two in a row with a devastating win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The bout was a rematch of their 2010 meeting, in which Bader picked up a decision victory. This time, however, the judges weren’t needed — “Darth” defeated the Brazilian legend with a third-round TKO.
Bader took Nogueira down countless times throughout 13 minutes or so and viciously pounded him out with ground-and-pound from top position. It was a grueling affair, but the 33-year-old went back to his roots to get the job done in Brazil.
What was the highlight of the fight?
Well, it’s hard to pick out a highlight — Bader vs. Nogueira II wasn’t a barn-burner by any means. It was rather lackluster, actually. Bader punished Nogueira, who was on defense for almost the entire fight, on the mat until finally putting together a large enough flurry for the referee to step in.
So I’ll say Bader’s takedowns were the highlight of the fight. Bader was expected to win this fight, but some people may have thought that Nogueira would’ve had a better chance of keeping the bout on the feet. Of course, Bader showed on Saturday that Nogueira had next to no chance of defending his takedowns. Bader resorted to his wrestling game fully in this matchup, but it paid off in a big way.
Where do these two go from here?
We might not see Bader fight for the UFC for a little while — the Nogueira fight was the last on his contract, and WME-IMG hasn’t seemed particularly eager in re-signing some of its fighters-turned-free-agents — such as Lorenz Larkin and Andre Fili — since taking over the UFC this past July. It’ll be interesting to see if the UFC attempts to re-sign Bader right away or if Bader is forced to play the waiting game.
But if Bader does re-sign with the UFC, he’s in a bit of an odd position — the ultimate gatekeeper position. He absolutely has a ceiling, proven by the Anthony Johnson fight in January, but I wouldn’t mind seeing if he can beat someone like Alexander Gustafsson in his next outing. Another great option is Jimi Manuwa, who’s coming off a big knockout win in October.
Nogueira, on the other hand, should retire immediately. He’s 40 years old and, after a legendary career, has nothing left to prove. He can’t come close to beating the best anymore, and even the loss to Bader probably took a lot out of him. He should follow the footsteps of his brother, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and call it a career.
Watch now, later, or never?
I wouldn’t be in a rush to check out Bader demolishing Nogueira anytime soon. Maybe give it a watch if you have nothing going on and a bit of time to spare, but it wasn’t anything pretty.
BADER SMASH!!! #UFCSaoPaulo https://t.co/BQMYNExDkU— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) November 20, 2016