If Daniel Cormier wants his shot at the UFC light heavyweight title, he needs to go through Ryan Bader.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Bader is the No. 1 contender – or even a top contender in the division at the moment.
Instead, it would appear that the former Ultimate Fighter winner holds the cards to a title shot.
Think back to UFC 126 and 2011 when Jon Jones scored a submission victory over Bader. Immediately following, Joe Rogan asked Jones if he would be willing to replace teammate Rashad Evans and fight for the UFC championship.
Since that time, the division has been ruled by “Bones.” And it all started with Bader.
In 2012, Bader went up against Lyoto Machida. “Darth” lost via knockout, and just a few weeks later, Machida was offered a title fight vs. Jones.
While “The Dragon” declined, his path to the belt still went through Bader.
That brings us to the current challenger to Jones’ reign, Glover Teixeira.
Last September, Teixeira stormed through Bader, earning a first round TKO victory. Next month, he’ll get his chance to unseat the champion at UFC 172.
Quick site note, other than the three previously mentioned losses, and one more to former champion Tito Ortiz in 2011, Bader is a perfect 16-0.
So, does pairing Bader up with Cormier make sense from a rankings standpoint? You know, it’s not really that far apart, as Bader is ninth and “DC” sits at No. 5.
We’d also get to really see Cormier’s wrestling put to the test, as Bader was a three-time PAC 10 champion at Arizona State and a two-time All-American.
Our very own Pedro Carrasco recently stated that either Bader or Rafael Cavalcante could be signed to meet Cormier next, so maybe there is a connection.
Fight Ryan Bader.
Fight for the UFC light heavyweight title.
The path is laid out before Daniel Cormier if he decides to walk down it.
By Dana Becker | TwitterTags: daniel cormier, mma, MMA NEWS, Rafael Cavalcante, ryan bader, ufc, ufc news