HomeUFCUFC Ryan Bader isn’t declining, but not as ‘phenomenal’ Tv Channel

UFC Ryan Bader isn’t declining, but not as ‘phenomenal’ Tv Channel

UFC Ryan Bader isn’t declining, but not as ‘phenomenal’ Tv Channel


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PHOENIX – Corey Anderson is looking forward to taking on a former training partner in the semifinals of the light heavyweight grand prix.

Anderson (15-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) exited the UFC in 2020 and has racked up two stoppage wins in a row after joining Bellator. Now just one fight away from the grand prix finals, he must get through a familiar face in Ryan Bader, someone who he believes he has an edge on.

The light heavyweight grand prix semifinal bout serves as the co-main event of Bellator 268, which takes place on Saturday at the Footprint Center in Phoenix. The event airs on Showtime following prelims streamed on MMA Junkie.

“The main thing is, he’s getting older and I just got to my prime,” Anderson told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “His old coach said, ‘We couldn’t call you out anymore when you was in the UFC because you were too good and there was a possibility that we might fight you.’ That was my first year in the UFC.

“Three years later when I came out (to train), his coach had me leave and I’m going to the airport, his coach was like, ‘Brother, you sure you can’t stay? You’re really good. We don’t have anybody that can go with him like that. We’d love it if you could come back and help more.’ I said I had to get back to my own camp.”

In addition to knowing what unfolded in those past training sessions, Anderson also credits training with some of the best wrestlers in the world in preparation for the fight against Bader (28-6 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) as a reason his confidence is high ahead of Saturday’s fight.

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“He knows I’ve only gotten better,” Anderson explained. “You know I was good then, what, you think I went down? Nah. He knows what it’s gonna be like when I get in the cage.”

Anderson, 32, believes the 38-year-old Bader has changed as a fighter, but he wouldn’t exactly categorize the differences as a decline in ability as he has grown older.

“You don’t get more athletic as you get older,” Anderson said. “You get stronger, you get wiser, you can sometimes get a little faster. But when you’ve been in the sport as long as he has, and the battles he’s been through and the fights he’s had, and the way he trains and we all train (for the) top, it’s kind of hard to get more explosive. You just get smarter with what you do. You get wiser. You’re more savvy as a veteran.

“So, I’m not saying he’s declining, but some of the things he used to do phenomenal, he doesn’t do as great. But the things he didn’t do as well, he does better in his later years.”

Ultimately, Anderson believes he is well-prepared to excel wherever the fight may go on Saturday, and will then get ready to take on Vadim Nemkov, who he is picking to get past Julius Anglickas in their semifinal main event bout.

Check out the full pre-fight interview with Anderson in the video above.

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