Ryan Bader couldn’t pass up the opportunity to participate in Bellator’s light heavyweight Grand Prix.
After Bader suffered a TKO loss to Vadim Nemkov to lose his light heavyweight title, his goal was to defend his heavyweight title. Yet, the offer came for him to participate in the Grand Prix and he knew this would be the best way for him to get his title back.
“Those things happen. It’s MMA. Sometimes, it’s not your night. I felt flat out there. I just felt like I wasn’t me out there, but it is what it is,” Bader said to MMAJunkie. “He went out there and beat me on that night. For me, I could’ve called for an immediate rematch and this and that. To be able to do this in this Grand Prix tournament and potentially win a belt back by going through the Grand Prix and beating these killers that are in here, that’s the sweetest way. That was intriguing to me when they came to me with that light heavyweight (offer). Because I could’ve just gone back and stayed a heavyweight.”
Not only can Bader avenge his loss against Nemkov, but he is also set to rematch Lyoto Machida in the first round. Then, if everything goes his way, he could rematch Anthony Johnson and get that fight back, as well.
“I’m a competitor,” Bader said. “I’ve always been super competitive. So any time I lose, I think about it. I stew over it for a week or something. I do let them go at the end of the day or I try to really learn from them. If you’ve ever looked throughout my career. Whenever I’ve had a loss, it’s one of those things that I build (on) and go on a great streak after. Maybe, (I’ll) rework some things or get in the right mental frame.
“I don’t necessarily look at it as a bad thing. It is what it is. In this sport, you’re going to take losses,” Bader continued. “For me, it’s do I want revenge back for the guys I lost to? Sure. I’m fighting Machida, a guy I lost to in 2012. I potentially have the ability to fight somebody I’ve lost to on the other side of the bracket: Anthony Johnson and Nemkov. It’s one of those things that’s just a little sweeter.”