Ryan Bader will be making his Bellator MMA debut at Bellator 180, where he challenges champion Phil Davis for the light heavyweight title.
Bader has also fought and lost to the now retired Anthony Johnson before, but the fighter wasn’t shocked by the retirement of “Rumble.”
“I heard that (Johnson) was potentially thinking about (retirement) beforehand,” Bader told MMA Junkie. “Just from hearsay and that kind of stuff. It really wasn’t surprising to me, but with where he was at in his career and the win streak and everything, it was surprising in that aspect. I had kind of heard beforehand, so it didn’t really catch me off guard. But more power to him. He decided to get out of the game there. He was on top, and that’s hard to do.”
The aforementioned loss that Bader suffered to Johnson came at UFC On Fox 18 in January 2016.
As Bader prepares for his Bellator MMA debut, the one thing that won’t be causing him any problems is the training.
“I’ve never had a problem being motivated to train,” Bader said. “I know what it’s like to not be at your best in a fight, and you never want to feel that. I make sure I’m training, and that’s motivation enough. I’ve done this my whole life. I went through the college wrestling grind. Before that I was playing football my whole life and also wrestling. I have no problem being motivated. I train to get the result I want, and my body feels good, and my mind feels good, so I don’t see myself stopping any time soon.”
Bellator 180 takes place on Saturday, June 24 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York with Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.