Ryan Bader exited the UFC in 2017 after having won seven of his last eight fights, including his last two fights in the promotion. Many believed the UFC was making a mistake by letting the Bader get away while still in his early 30s, and those talks would only grow louder when Bellator arrived at his new home in Bellator and continued racking up the wins, including becoming Bellator’s first ever double champion after winning the light heavyweight championship in a split-decision victory over Phil Davis and winning the heavyweight grand prix tournament at the start of last year.
Those talks have even advanced to some wondering what would have happened if Bader remained in the UFC and competed against Daniel Cormier, who was light heavyweight champion and became a double champion in his own right at the time of Bader’s exit. In a recent interview, Cormier would take it upon himself to answer this question of “what if” (transcript via MMA Fighting):
“I think Ryan’s done tremendous for himself. I’ve known Ryan since he
was in college,” Cormier said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour. “He’s always
been a hard worker and very committed to his family and everything else. I
think he’s great. It is exciting to watch him gain a level of success that he
never truly had gotten to in the UFC and the chances that he did get to get
there, he had kind of faltered.
“But he wouldn’t be able to fight me,” Cormier continued. “I like the
guy, but it’s just different. It’s just a little bit of a different approach.
Look, at the end of the day I’m just nasty ol’ boy. I learned that from Josh
Barnett. You get in there, you rub your elbow in their face, you kind of run
your hand over their mouth. I’m of the old school, like Josh Barnett. Hurt ‘em
even when you’re not doing much and people don’t really like that.”
How do you believe a fight
between Daniel Cormier and Ryan Bader would play out?