On the night going into Ryan Bader’s headlining main event against Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, Bader was riding an impressive five fight win streak, the kind of win streaks that usually lead to title fights. And with victories over Rashad Evans, Ovince Saint Preux and Phil Davis during that five fight span of dominance, a chance at light heavyweight gold seemed imminent.
‘Rumble’ flipped the script with a quick knockout after making Bader pay for a half-hearted takedown attempt. 1:26 minutes into the first round was all it took for his five fight win streak to officially bottom out, leaving Bader right where he started.
But not without a lesson learned.
“If anything it gave me the ability to say … I’m done chasing this undefeated streak kind of thing. I got into a mode where I was like if I’m going to get this title shot it’s by keeping this win streak alive and maybe I have to fight a certain way. It was all about winning and I was winning a certain way,” Bader told FOX Sports.
According to the AKA light heavyweight standout, the plan was to confuse Johnson with takedown attempts while sneaking in some punches, but he overcommitted to the first single-leg of the fight, and it all went downhill from there.
“I figured I’d just take my time to get back up and he just hit me with a few good shots. One of those gave me a flash knockout and that was it,” Bader said. “That’s what sucks.
“I’d rather go out there and lose a decision and feel like I fought and I left it out there.”
Bader begins his path back to the title on Saturday’s UFC card in Germany, where he takes on Albanian-Swedish Ilir Latifi, who is coming off of a three fight winning streak himself.