Ryan Bader is in the top ten of the UFC Light Heavyweight Division, a spot that he believes puts him a win away from a light heavyweight title shot.
"I’m right there, you know," Bader said during a conference call. "I’m ranked No. 4, but rankings don’t really mean that much. I believe I’m one fight away at all times from getting a title shot and being up there. I’m one of the top guys. I have to beat one of those top three guys. I got to a point I was so focused on getting a title shot all the thought in my head was to go out there and win at all costs, so maybe it made me fight a certain way, maybe take a lot of risks and stuff like that. To be able to have fun with it, I’m just kind of free out there. If I do that, fight to my potential, I have better shot at winning than I am going out there with a sole porpoise of just winning this fight."
In order to get that title shot, Bader has to get past Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who he faces this weekend at UFC Fight Night 100.
"He’s always been a great fighter. He’s been a great fighter throughout his whole career," Bader said. "I think there’s more change in me than in him. I think I’ve evolved more than he has since the first time. I think you see that in my fights. I’m more comfortable standing up, more well-rounded. When I fought him, that was like my first big name fight, and I was pretty much a wrestler that has some heavy hands, but I didn’t really know what to do on the feet. I feel I have evolved more than he has."
UFC Fight Night 100 takes place on Saturday, November 19 from the Ibirapueroa Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil with Ryan Bader and Antonio Rogeerio Nogueira headlining.