Ryan Bader in 2011
June 7, 1983
Reno, Nevada, United States
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||227 lb (103 kg; 16 st 3 lb)|
|Division||Light Heavyweight (2007–present) |
|Reach||74 in (188 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Chandler, Arizona, United States|
|Team||Power MMA Team|
|Rank||Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Jair Lourenço|
|Wrestling||NCAA Division I Wrestling|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|University||Arizona State University|
|Spouse||Daisy Bader m. 2010 - Present|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
|Representing the Arizona State Sun Devils|
|2003 Boise||197 lb|
|2004 Fargo||197 lb|
|2006 Fullerton||197 lb|
Ryan DuWayne Bader (born June 7, 1983) is an American mixed martial artist currently signed to Bellator MMA, he is the current Bellator Heavyweight World Champion, and the former Bellator Light Heavyweight World Champion. Prior to signing with Bellator, Bader competed for the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the Light Heavyweight division. There, Bader achieved success as a top 5 Light Heavyweight contender and he compiled a UFC record of 15-5. He was a cast member and winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir. He is currently ranked the #2 Light Heavyweight and the #7 pound for pound fighter in the world by MMAjunkie.com. He is the first fighter to hold belts in two divisions simultaneously in Bellator history. His nickname is Darth Bader, which refers to Star Wars antagonist character Darth Vader.
Background and career
Ryan Bader was born in Reno, Nevada and started wrestling at the age of seven. He entered mixed martial arts after a successful career in amateur wrestling. He attended Robert McQueen High School where he won two state championships and was ranked as high as fourth in the country for wrestling. In football, Bader was the 2001 Nevada Defensive Player of the Year and helped the McQueen Lancers win the Nevada state championship title. Bader ultimately attended Arizona State University on a wrestling scholarship, where he was college teammates with former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez and CB Dollaway. While attending ASU, Bader was a three-time Pac-10 Champion, winning titles in 2003, 2004, and 2006. He was also a two-time All-American, placing fourth in 2004 as a sophomore and seventh in 2006 as a senior. He began training at Arizona Combat Sports in early 2007.
The Ultimate Fighter (2008)
Bader's UFC career began as a contestant on season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter. Bader, the first light heavyweight selected by coach Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, went on to win his first three fights on the show to fight with Vinicius Magalhães on December 13, 2008, at The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale.
At the finale, Bader defeated Magalhães by way of a quick, first-round knockout, earning the title of "The Ultimate Fighter" and winning the traditional "six-figure UFC contract". An overhand right dropped Magalhães, and Bader followed up with strikes on the ground to take the win, less than halfway through the first round.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (2009–2011)
Bader's first post-TUF fight was at UFC Fight Night 18 against Carmelo Marrero, whom he defeated via unanimous decision, scoring 30–27 on all three judges' scorecards. During the match, Bader tore his medial collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament, which kept him sidelined until the next fall.
Shortly after the Marrero fight, Bader appeared alongside fellow Ultimate Fighter 8 winner Efrain Escudero in the UFC's sixth video game, UFC 2009 Undisputed. He and Escudero were available through special code obtained by pre-ordering the game from Gamestop. On September 10, 2009, he and Escudero were made available for download on PlayStation Network and Xbox 360 Marketplace.
Bader returned against Eric Schafer on October 24, 2009, at UFC 104. The fight was mainly dominated by Bader, who scored with a powerful attack of combinations standing and controlled the grappling, en route a unanimous decision victory (30–27, 29–26, and 30–27).
Next for Bader was Keith Jardine, who he fought on February 21, 2010, at the UFC's debut effort in Australia, UFC 110. Bader scored a sharp jab on the tiring Jardine, which set up a flying knee to the chest and a left hook at 2:10 of the third round to secure a KO victory for Bader.
Bader moved his UFC record to 5-0 at the expense of Antônio Rogério Nogueira at UFC 119, controlling him most of the fight with his wrestling and using his jab and short combinations to stop much of Nogueira's offense. All three judges scored the fight 30–27 for Bader.
First MMA losses (2011–2013)
Four months after his victory over Nogueira, Bader fought fellow rising prospect Jon Jones on February 5, 2011, at UFC 126, where he received the first loss of his MMA career after tapping out to a modified guillotine choke in the second round.
Bader then faced Jason Brilz on November 19, 2011, at UFC 139. He defeated Brilz at 1:17 of the first round via KO, landing a straight right behind Brilz's ear causing him to immediately fall to the mat face-first.
Bader next faced former Light Heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson on February 26, 2012, at UFC 144. Jackson weighed in over the Light Heavyweight weight allowance of 206 lbs by 5 lbs, weighing in at 211 lbs. Bader accepted the fight at a catchweight and received 20% of Jackson's purse. Bader won via unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring the fight 30–27.
Bader faced former title challenger Vladimir Matyushenko on January 26, 2013, at UFC on Fox 6. He won the fight via guillotine choke submission at just 50 seconds of the first round, earning his first Submission of the Night honors, and also having the fastest UFC Light Heavyweight submission.
The bout with Teixeira eventually took place on September 4, 2013, in the main event at UFC Fight Night 28. Despite dropping Teixeira early in the first round, Bader lost the fight via TKO in the first round.
Bader faced Anthony Perosh on December 7, 2013, at UFC Fight Night 33. He won the fight via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, and 30–26). Bader dominated Perosh all 15 minutes of the three round contest using his superior wrestling.
Winning streaks at UFC (2014–2016)
Bader faced Rafael Cavalcante on June 14, 2014, at UFC 174. He won the fight via unanimous decision. Bader's wrestling was displayed once again, controlling Feijão the majority of the bout.
Bader was expected to face Daniel Cormier on June 6, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 68. However, on April 28, 2015 it was announced that Cormier had been removed from the fight in favor of a matchup with Anthony Johnson on May 23, 2015 at UFC 187.
Bader faced Antônio Rogério Nogueira in a rematch on November 19, 2016, in the main event at UFC Fight Night 100. He won the fight by TKO in the third round with ground and pound after dominating Nogueira on the mat. Bader's fight against Nogueira was the last on his UFC contract and afterward he was a free agent.
Bellator MMA (2017–present)
Double champion (2017-2020)
On Ariel Helwani's podcast, the MMA Hour, Bader stated that he has a Bellator MMA contract on hand, that negotiations are in process, and that the UFC has the right to match the Bellator offer. If the UFC chose not to match then his desire would be for an immediate fight against the current Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Phil Davis, whom he already beat in the UFC. On March 21, 2017, Bader announced that the UFC had not sought to match Bellator's offer and that he was officially signed a six-fight deal with Bellator MMA.
Bader was officially unveiled as a fighter for the company at Bellator 175. After the main event, Bader entered the cage and it was announced he would face Muhammed Lawal at Bellator 180 on June 24, 2017. However, Lawal pulled out of the fight and Bader faced Bellator Light Heavyweight champion Phil Davis in a rematch. Bader and Davis first met at UFC on Fox: Gustafsson vs. Johnson on January 24, 2015, with Bader winning by split decision. Bader won the rematch again by split decision to become the new Light Heavyweight champion.
Bader faced Muhammed Lawal in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix for the Bellator Heavyweight championship at Bellator 199 on May 12, 2018. He won the fight via TKO just 15 seconds into the first round.
In the final, Bader faced Fedor Emelianenko for the vacant Bellator Heavyweight World Championship in the main event at Bellator 214 on January 26, 2019. Bader claimed the title by winning via knockout just 35 seconds into the first round, thus becoming the first ever simultaneous two-weight champion in Bellator history.
On July 11, 2019, it was announced that Bader is set to make his first heavyweight title defense against Cheick Kongo. This bout served as the headliner of Bellator 226 on September 7. The bout ended in a no contest at 3:52 of the first round when Bader landed an accidental "eye" poke on Kongo that rendered him unable to continue, with Bader retaining his title.
Bader was signed to defend his light heavyweight title against Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 242 on May 9, 2020. However, it was later announced that Bellator 242 and Bader's bout against Nemkov had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bout with Nemkov was rescheduled and took place on August 21 at Bellator 244. Bader lost the bout via second round technical knockout.
Bader and his wife Daisy were married in October 2010.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Bellator MMA
- Bellator Heavyweight World Championship (One time, current)
- Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship (One time)
- One successful title defense
- Bellator MMA Heavyweight World Grand Prix Championship
- Second two-weight champion in Bellator MMA history
- First ever simultaneous two-weight champion in Bellator MMA history
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- The Ultimate Fighter 8 Light Heavyweight Tournament Winner
- Submission of the Night (One time)
- Performance of the Night (One time)
- Tied - 2nd most Wins in UFC Light-Heavyweight history (15) with Tito Ortiz and Chuck Lidell.
- National Collegiate Athletic Association
- NCAA Division I All-American out of Arizona State University (2004), (2006)
- NCAA Division I 197 lb - 4th place out of Arizona State University (2004)
- NCAA Division I 197 lb - 7th place out of Arizona State University (2006)
- Pac-10 Conference Championship out of Arizona State University (2003), (2004), (2006)
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|34 matches||27 wins||6 losses|
|Loss||27–6 (1)||Vadim Nemkov||TKO (head kick and punches)||Bellator 244||August 21, 2020||2||3:02||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Lost the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship.|
|NC||27–5 (1)||Cheick Kongo||NC (accidental eye poke)||Bellator 226||September 7, 2019||1||3:52||San Jose, California, United States||Retained the Bellator Heavyweight World Championship.|
|Win||27–5||Fedor Emelianenko||KO (punches)||Bellator 214||January 26, 2019||1||0:35||Inglewood, California, United States||Won the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix and the vacant Bellator Heavyweight World Championship.|
|Win||26–5||Matt Mitrione||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 207||October 12, 2018||3||5:00||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix Semifinal.|
|Win||25–5||Muhammed Lawal||TKO (punches)||Bellator 199||May 12, 2018||1||0:15||San Jose, California, United States||Heavyweight debut. Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal.|
|Win||24–5||Linton Vassell||TKO (punches)||Bellator 186||November 3, 2017||2||3:58||University Park, Pennsylvania, United States||Defended the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship.|
|Win||23–5||Phil Davis||Decision (split)||Bellator 180||June 24, 2017||5||5:00||New York City, New York, United States||Won the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship.|
|Win||22–5||Antônio Rogério Nogueira||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. Nogueira 2||November 19, 2016||3||3:51||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Win||21–5||Ilir Latifi||KO (knee)||UFC Fight Night: Arlovski vs. Barnett||September 3, 2016||2||2:06||Hamburg, Germany||Performance of the Night.|
|Loss||20–5||Anthony Johnson||KO (punches)||UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Bader||January 30, 2016||1||1:26||Newark, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||20–4||Rashad Evans||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 192||October 3, 2015||3||5:00||Houston, Texas, United States|
|Win||19–4||Phil Davis||Decision (split)||UFC on Fox: Gustafsson vs. Johnson||January 24, 2015||3||5:00||Stockholm, Sweden|
|Win||18–4||Ovince Saint Preux||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. Saint Preux||August 16, 2014||5||5:00||Bangor, Maine, United States|
|Win||17–4||Rafael Cavalcante||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 174||June 14, 2014||3||5:00||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Win||16–4||Anthony Perosh||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Bigfoot||December 7, 2013||3||5:00||Brisbane, Australia|
|Loss||15–4||Glover Teixeira||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader||September 4, 2013||1||2:55||Belo Horizonte, Brazil|
|Win||15–3||Vladimir Matyushenko||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson||January 26, 2013||1||0:50||Chicago, Illinois, United States||Submission of the Night.|
|Loss||14–3||Lyoto Machida||KO (punch)||UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera||August 4, 2012||2||1:32||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||14–2||Quinton Jackson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 144||February 26, 2012||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan||Catchweight (211 lbs) bout; Jackson missed weight.|
|Win||13–2||Jason Brilz||KO (punch)||UFC 139||November 19, 2011||1||1:17||San Jose, California, United States|
|Loss||12–2||Tito Ortiz||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 132||July 2, 2011||1||1:56||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||12–1||Jon Jones||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 126||February 5, 2011||2||4:20||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||12–0||Antônio Rogério Nogueira||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 119||September 25, 2010||3||5:00||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||11–0||Keith Jardine||KO (flying knee and punch)||UFC 110||February 21, 2010||3||2:10||Sydney, Australia|
|Win||10–0||Eric Schafer||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 104||October 24, 2009||3||5:00||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||9–0||Carmelo Marrero||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann||April 1, 2009||3||5:00||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||8–0||Vinny Magalhães||TKO (punches)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs Team Mir Finale||December 13, 2008||1||2:18||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Won The Ultimate Fighter 8 Light Heavyweight Tournament.|
|Win||7–0||Buckley Acosta||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||XCC 6: Western Threat||April 5, 2008||1||0:47||Reno, Nevada, United States|
|Win||6–0||Brad Peterson||Decision (unanimous)||IFO: Fireworks in the Cage IV||December 28, 2007||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||5–0||Ulises Cortez||KO (suplex and punches)||SE: Vale Tudo||October 27, 2007||1||N/A||Mexico|
|Win||4–0||Dicky Chavez||TKO (punches)||KOTC: Unstoppable||September 15, 2007||1||0:41||San Carlos, Arizona, United States|
|Win||3–0||Tim Peacock||TKO (punches)||Rage in the Cage 94||June 9, 2007||2||2:50||Camp Verde, Arizona, United States|
|Win||2–0||David Baggett||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Proving Grounds 1||May 12, 2007||1||N/A||Cayman Islands|
|Win||1–0||Dave Covello||TKO (submission to punches)||Reno Combats: Inferno 2||March 31, 2007||1||2:21||Camp Verde, Arizona, United States|
|Exhibition record breakdown|
|3 matches||3 wins||0 losses|
|Win||3–0||Eliot Marshall||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter 8||June 25, 2008 (airdate)||2||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||TUF 8 semifinal round.|
|Win||2–0||Tom Lawlor||KO (punch)||May 28, 2008 (airdate)||1||3:44||TUF 8 quarterfinal round.|
|Win||1–0||Kyle Kingsbury||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||May 21, 2008 (airdate)||2||1:33||TUF 8 preliminary round.|
|NCAA Championships Matches|
|2006 NCAA Championships at 197 lbs|
|Loss||10-7||Joel Flaggert||4-9||March 17, 2006||2006 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships|
|2005 NCAA Championships at 197 lbs|
|Loss||7-5||Joel Flaggert||5-1||March 17, 2005||2005 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships|
|2004 NCAA Championships 4th at 197 lbs|
|Win||5-3||Chris Skretkowicz||5-1||March 20, 2004||2004 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships|
|2003 NCAA Championships at 197 lbs|
|Loss||1-2||Matt Greenberg||Major 1-14||March 20, 2003||2003 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships|
|Loss||1-1||Jon Trenge||Major 2-11|
|Win||1-0||Adam Schaaf||OT 6-4|
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- "Frank Mir knocks out Mirko Cro Cop in UFC 119 main event". vancouversun.com. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Dana White Confirms Jones vs. Bader for UFC 126". MMAWeekly.com. 2010-10-26.
- "Tito Ortiz Takes on Ryan Bader at UFC 132 on July 2". mmaweekly.com. March 21, 2011.
- "Ryan Bader vs. Jason Brilz added to UFC 139 in San Jose". mmajunkie.com. August 23, 2011. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011.
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- "Ryan Bader vs Lyoto Machida added to UFC on FOX 4 in Los Angeles". 2012-04-30.
- Mike Chiapetta (2012-08-04). "UFC on FOX 4 Results: Lyoto Machida KO's Ryan Bader". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- "UFC on Fox 6 Gets Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Ryan Bader". mmaweekly.com. December 3, 2012.
- Shin Splints (2013-01-26). "UFC on Fox 6 results: Ryan Bader taps out Vladimir Matyushenko". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- Mike Whitman (2013-01-26). "UFC on Fox 6 Bonuses: Demetrious Johnson, John Dodson, Anthony Pettis, Ryan Bader Net $50,000". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- "Ryan Bader vs. Glover Teixeira light heavyweight bout booked for UFC 160". MMAjunkie.com. February 19, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
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- Mike Bohn (2015-04-28). "Jon Jones stripped of UFC title, Cormier meets Johnson for vacant belt at UFC 187". mmajunkie.com.
- MMA Fighting newswire (2015-07-08). "Rashad Evans to clash with Ryan Bader at UFC 192 in October". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-07-08.
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