When Ryan Bader fought Glover Teixeira in the headlining bout of last Wednesday's (Sept. 4, 2013) UFC Fight Night 28 event in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the hometown boy came in a huge favorite. But in the first round, it was the American who was the aggressor (remember this word) and looked to be on the verge of finishing the fight.
See the video replay here.
While the odds were clearly stacked against him, Bader (15-4) nearly stole an upset win over Teixeira (22-2) . But a little hesitation proved costly, as "Darth" chose to work for a guillotine choke rather than try and finish the fight with what had gotten him to that position to begin with.
The newly crowned light heavyweight number one contender used the split-second delay to escape, get to his feet and deliver a nasty two-punch combination that sent Bader crashing to the floor, where he was finished off with a final flurry of punches.
When he was asked at the post fight press conference why the events of earlier in the evening went the way they did, Bader an "aggressive" response:
"I was a little too aggressive. I wasn't staying tight, and I got caught with a right hand and a left hook, and that was it. I just got a little over-aggressive and tried to jump on the choke. I got back up and ended up kind of rocking him again, and it was the same thing. I felt good tonight. I made some mistakes, mental errors, and for me it's just going back and keep getting better. In this sport, you come up real quick and you go down quick, but a big fight for me and I'm right back where I want to be. It's just going back and training hard and getting right back it."
Some mixed martial arts (MMA) fans would argue a positive attitude is exactly what's required of a 205-pound Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contender in the suddenly stacked divisional landscape. Meanwhile, Bader falls to just 1-2 in his past three fights, leaving his path to the top of the weight class convoluted.
While Bader may have the right mindset under his belt, it's his opponent who has everything going for him in the future.
I can't help but look past the card airing on Sept. 21, 2013 from Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and lick my chops at a potential Glover Teixeira vs. Jon Jones showdown.
After these comments by Teixeira, who's with me?