5 Minutes With Ryan Bader
You’re fighting Eric Schafer at UFC 104. How are you going to beat him?
You know what, I think he’s one those underrated fighters that is very, very tough. He’s got good Jiu-Jitsu and has a lot of experience. I’m just going to go in there and do what I do every fight—impose my will on him and look for a knockout. I’m going to go out there and hit him with my right hand and end the fight and move onto the next.
What’s been the biggest change in your life since you won The Ultimate Fighter and started fighting in the UFC?
The biggest change. I came from wrestling. It’s a very popular sport inside the community, but you win a national title and you finish school and you can’t continue your career. So—going into MMA and then going into and winning The Ultimate Fighter – just having attention from the fans, it’s definitely different for me. Wrestlers don’t get that kind of attention, so that’s one big change. Especially in Vegas. You get treated a little bit different, so that’s one thing that’s different from having that exposure on The Ultimate Fighter.
On The Ultimate Fighter, how many times did Nogueira call you “Hyan?”
Oh, a bunch – it was funny. I would try to listen to him in the corner and he was talking to “Hyan.” He was a great dude.
Six-figure contract. What have you wasted your money on?
I had kind of like a shitty little boat before, so I upgraded a little bit. Other than that I put some away, invested a little bit.
Do you and C.B. Dollaway re-enact “I’m on a Boat” by Andy Samberg?
Yeah, actually we do. We go out to Lake Pleasant and we blast that song—we’ve got pretty good speakers, we pull up to a little cove, it’s kind of like a mini Havasu. I would like to point out that there are other girls on the boat also; it’s not just me and C.B. Dollaway!
What’s it like to play as Ryan Bader, the video game character?
It’s surreal. Coming from wrestling to now, I’m on a video game! You’re kind of immortalized. You’re in that game forever. That’s something I can show my kids and my grandkids.
Do you ever beat yourself up?
I haven’t yet, but I got beat up a couple of times. The first time I played, I beat Chuck Liddell, I beat Rashad Evans and Tim Boetsch knocked me out. Blood was spurting everywhere and I’m watching this like, ‘man, that’s not cool.’
You’re nickname is “Darth” Bader. What’s your favorite Star Wars movie and the worstStar Wars movie?
You know what, it’s a funny thing—probably the first Star Wars. But I’m not a huge Star Wars fan. Some people hate me for that. But Darth Vader’s definitely my favorite character!
You’re a big 205 pound dude. What’s your favorite girly drink?
Definitely a pina colada.
We’ve seen the pictures, what’s the deal with you dressing up like a Care Bear? (Just Google Ryan Bader Care Bear – you’ll find the pics)
Haha. There is this big block party on Halloween where like 10,000 people show up. There is a contest for best group costume. So a bunch of us wrestlers and fighters got together as just some corny fun. We dressed up as the Smurfs and we won. So, the next year, we were like ‘what can we do to top last year?’ We ended up doing the Ninja Turtles and we won again. The next year we halfassed it and went as the Care Bears. I think we’re going to retire after this year.