Ryan Bader proved that having the basics is more important than raw talent and potential.
Bader (18-4 with 6 knockouts and 4 submissions) outlasted the highly touted Ovince St. Preux (16-6 with 7 knockouts and 5 submissions) in the five round light heavyweight main event of UFC Fight Night 47 in Bangor, Maine on Saturday to win by unanimous decision. The former All-American collegiate wrestler used his superior wrestling skills to frustrate the hard hitting Haitian-born St. Preux.
Bader scored on an impressive 9 takedowns, against his opponent’s two to keep his bigger and faster opponent from landing his power shots. In the end, the judges scored the bout 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46.
Ending a Run
Bader’s victory ends a five fight winning streak by St. Preux and dealt him his first UFC win in five fights. The former Tennessee football player had broken into the UFC light heavyweight’s Top 10 rankings after a string of wins and has been drawing praises for his successful transition to MMA. But his inability to defend Bader’s takedowns cost him the fight and a shot to barge into the upper echelon of the UFC’s light heavyweights.
St. Preux was clearly out striking Bader when the fight in the standup game as he landed the heavier blows and had the better movement. But Bader’s offensive game opened up each time he took St. Preux’s back, finally out landing him 77-30 in total strikes landed. Although he never really had OSP in serious trouble, Bader broke him down with each take down and avoided being knocked out by the heavier hitting St. Preux.
St. Preux knew he was behind on points, and he came out firing to start round 5. Bader got bloodied near the end of the bout as a result of St. Preux’s sharp elbows, but it wasn’t enough to break the will of Bader. He even took Bader down in the final round but it was not enough as Bader had already piled up the points in the first four rounds of the bout.
Top Five Fight Next?
After the fight, Bader refused to call out anybody and said that he just wants to “heal some injuries first.” and “see what’s next.” But his victory should earn him a fight with a Top 5 light heavyweight. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Rashad Evans should be good fights for Bader to take next.