After capturing and successfully defending the Bellator MMA light heavyweight belt, Ryan Bader debuted impressively at heavyweight with a 15-second knockout of Muhammed Lawal. He is now set to square off with Matt Mitrione in the semi-finals of the Bellator heavyweight grand prix.
Expect fireworks when the two heavy hitters lay it all on the line at Bellator 207, happening on Oct. 12 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Ahead of their confrontation, here are some important numbers that define the career of “Darth” Bader.
2: State championships won when he was wrestling for Robert McQueen High School. At one point, Bader was ranked No. 4 in the entire country.
3: Time PAC champion, taking the 2003, 2004 and 2006 titles for Arizona State University. That’s in addition to his two All-American citations, having placed fourth as a sophomore and seventh as a senior. In 2007, he started training MMA at Arizona Combat Sports.
6: Fights in 2007. Prior to his stint at “The Ultimate Fighter 8,” Bader fought in different regional promotions. He added another victory before joining the reality show in 2008.
2: Minutes needed to knock out Vinny Magalhaes at the TUF 8 finale. The end came at exactly 2:18 after Bader landed a right to the decorated jiu-jitsu black belt’s temple. With the win, he earned a six-figure Ultimate Fighting Championship contract and his sixth stoppage inside the first round.
5: Straight victories to start his UFC tenure. The win over Magalhaes was followed by triumphs over Carmelo Marrero, Eric Schafer, Keith Jardine and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
2: Fights with Nogueira. He completely outclassed “Little Nog” at UFC 119 and won by unanimous decision. The two headlined UFC Fight Night 100 in Brazil and this time, Bader made sure to stop his opponent via TKO.
2: Rounds with Jon Jones, who dealt him the first loss of his career. Bader was stopped with a guillotine choke in their UFC 126 encounter.
5: Former UFC champions fought. Bader has shared the Octagon with Jones, Tito Ortiz, Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans.
2: Five-fight winning streaks in the UFC. Bader left the promotion on a good note with another winning run punctuated by his conquest of Nogueira.
1: Performance of the Night award. He was awarded $50,000 after his spectacular second-round knockout of Ilir Latifi at UFC Fight Night 93.
1: Submission of the Night award. He choked out Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC on Fox 6 to earn his first and only award of its kind in the UFC.
4: Wins in under one minute. Bader is known to show his might early as evidenced by his quick finishes of Matyushenko, Dicky Chavez, Buckley Acosta and most recently, “King Mo” Lawal.
8: Territories outside of the United States in which he fought in. Bader has been in Brazil, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico and Cayman Islands.