Ryan Bader Not Opposed to Fighting ‘Rumble,’ But Focus is Still on Cormier

By Tristen Critchfield Oct 21, 2015
Ryan Bader says he lobbied to fight Anthony Johnson in May. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Ryan Bader isn’t against a fight with Anthony Johnson, but at least for now, his sights are still set on light heavyweight gold.

Johnson recently lobbied for a bout against Bader on Facebook, calling for a No. 1 contender’s fight with the Power MMA Team product. However, Bader’s management revealed to Fox Sports that the fighter was still gunning for a title shot against Daniel Cormier.

Since he was on vacation, Bader was not able to speak for himself until recently. “The Ultimate Fighter 8” winner echoed similar sentiments in a post to his Instagram account on Wednesday.

I have been out of the country on vacation with friends and family and off social media this past week. Saw all the [Anthony Johnson] talk when I got back,” Bader wrote. “We lobbied to fight him this past May, and are still not opposed to fighting him. So first and foremost we are not running from anybody and never have.

“I respect the guy and what he's done. He's had his shot, now it's my turn to at the very least see what happens with this title picture. My mind is on Cormier, and that is what I've been told I've earned. We will see what direction we go pretty soon.”

Bader has won five straight fights in the Octagon, including a three-round verdict over Rashad Evans in his most recent outing at UFC 192. He engaged in a shouting match with Cormier after the American Kickboxing Academy product defeated Johnson to capture the vacant 205-pound crown at UFC 187.

Whether Bader receives the next title shot is still in question. Much depends on the status of Jon Jones, who avoided jail time for his involvement in an alleged hit-and-run incident earlier this year but has yet to be reinstated by the Las Vegas-based promotion. UFC President Dana White has previously stated that Jones would receive an immediate title shot upon his return.

Johnson, meanwhile, recently rebounded from his loss to Cormier, as he scored a second-round knockout of Jimi Manuwa at UFC 191 on Sept. 5.


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