Ryan Bader -- once again -- was left out in the cold when it came to getting the next 205-pound title shot, as it was recently announced that Alexander Gustafsson will face newly-crowned Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight kingpin Daniel Cormier.
But it wasn't for a lack of trying.
Bader revealed during The MMA Hour that he phoned UFC President Dana White to plead his case, only to learn it was going to "The Mauler." A surprising move, according to "Darth," who says the Swede is a great fighter, but hardly deserving of a championship fight.
"I didn't think it made sense," said Bader. "You got a guy coming off a knockout loss to the guy that just got submitted and he is 1-2 in his last three fights. I got a four-fight win streak going on. I've been fighting top 10 caliber guys."
The standout wrestler made it clear, however, that he has nothing against Gustafsson as a fighter or as a person, but his recent record should be proof enough that the championship fight does not belong to him.
"Gus is a great fighter, he's awesome, but he just doesn't deserve that shot right now coming off a loss like that," he continued. "At the end of the day, I am not gong to cry about it. It is what it is. Whoever I have to fight next, whether it's Rashad (Evans) or not, I'll go out there and beat them and they cannot deny me after that."
Speaking of Rashad, the former 205-pound champion recently lobbied for a fight against "Darth." And since Bader is open to the idea, it seems Joe Silva doesn't have too much work to do in trying to book this intriguing scrap.
And though Bader says he will move on from Cormier (for now) to focus on his next challenge, what really grinds his gears is how UFC once believed he was good enough to fight Cormier at last Saturday's (June 6, 2015) UFC Fight Night 68 event, but doesn't believe he's good enough now.
A valid argument?