Although Ryan Bader has won four straight fights, and has defeated contenders like Ovince Saint Preux and Phil Davis during that time, Rashad Evans believes the light-heavyweight chokes in big stakes fights.
Evans and Bader are scheduled to fight this Saturday at UFC 192, in what is a fight between the #5th and #4th ranked light-heavyweights respectively. Bader has been busy working his way into title contention since he was stopped by Glover Teixeira back in 2013, while Evans hasn’t fought since that same year, due to knee injuries.
It’s a huge fight, no question, as the winner could lock up a title shot next. Although, that likely depends on what the UFC decides to do with Jon Jones, now that the former champ has received probation and not a jail term.
Well, recently Evans spoke to MMA Junkie.com Radio, and while doing so, the former champ had this to say about “Darth” (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“He wants to look impressive to throw his name in the hat for a title shot, but we’ll see how that goes for him,” Evans saidt. “I don’t think it’s going to go well for him because Bader’s one of those guys … when the pressure’s on, he doesn’t perform well. That’s just the truth of the matter. He doesn’t perform well when the pressure’s on.”
Of course, Bader and his fanbase likely disagree with Evans on this, as the only men to defeat him since 2012 are Teixeira and Lyoto Machida. Did Bader choke in those bouts? Or could this be mind games on the part of Evans? Or…it is a bit of both?
It’s going to be interesting to see what goes down.
UFC 192 will be hosted by the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. In the main event, light-heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier will take on Alexander Gustafsson.