Ryan Bader has conceded that he has little control over whether or not he will get a light heavyweight division title shot and is now simply taking it one fight at a time.
Bader admits it has been frustrating being on the wrong-end of a bizarre sequence of events in his division.
He was supposed to fight Daniel Cormier in June, but Cormier was pulled from the bout when former champion Jon Jones was stripped of the title and suspended after his hit-and-run accident.
Cormier was promoted into a title fight against Anthony Johnson – Bader’s opponent this weekend – and won the vacant belt. Bader thought he would get the first shot at Cormier’s title, but instead that chance went to Alexander Gustafsson, who was coming off a first-round knockout loss to Johnson.
However, he has now adopted a different attitude.
“I let go of a lot of stuff as far as the title shots and all that stuff,” he said.
“It’s always on everybody’s mind, but you’re never guaranteed anything. I can’t control all that.
“Now it’s just who am I fighting and what’s the date? Once you’ve beaten everybody, hopefully it happens.”
Despite being 32 years of age, the former Arizona State University student insists that he is currently at the top of his game and does not need to do anything different to keep winning.
“I’m just working with what I’ve got. I’m trying my best to use my skillset to go out there and win. There might come a time in my career where I would go out and say, ‘I’m not going to go out and use what I’m best at, my wrestling and control,’ and just throw bombs and have fun.”