Once considered one of the top rising prospects in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Ryan Bader's stock took a plunge after losing two fights in a row to Tito Ortiz and Jon Jones, respectively. Not only did he lose, but he was pretty much devastated by both fighters.
After his two losses, Bader was able to shake it off and go back to the drawing board, notching consecutive wins and getting back on the "win wagon."
Should he win, it would be his second victory over a former UFC champion in as many opportunities. During an interview with "Inside MMA," Bader stated his belief that such a feat would be worthy of winning over Dana White and getting himself back in title contention.
Check it out, after the jump:
"We definitely were excited about the opportunity. It gets me one step closer to where I wanna be. I'm getting these guys coming off of title shots, so if I beat a couple of them, hopefully I'll get my shot. For us, it's a huge fight. It's on FOX. It doesn't get any bigger."
Bader went on to talk about how big a deal he feels it would be to take out two guys like Quinton Jackson and Machida in back-to-back fights.
"Like I said, these guys just fight for the title. They're both top guys, and if I beat those two, I'm definitely right up there. We'll see what happens with Jon Jones and Dan Henderson. I have already fought Jones, but Henderson goes in there, and if he wins, I've never fought Henderson, so we'll see what happens."
Bader went on to discuss his strategy for how he plans to take down "The Dragon" on Saturday night. The key, as far as Bader is concerned, is to simply not let Machida get into a comfortable rhythm:
"Don't let him get comfortable. If he gets comfortable, then he starts opening up. Obviously, some takedowns would be nice. Really, not respecting him as much as everybody else has in the past. Watch out for his tricky stuff and be prepared, know what's coming. Know how to counter it or what to do with it."
Hopefully, Bader is not looking past Machida (though it sounds very much like he's doing just that), as doing so could end up being very dangerous for him and his dreams of one day wearing the belt.