Ryan Bader (pictured) believes a lot can change in four years. Reigning UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones thinks, um, not in this case.
Bader and Jones were two of the UFC’s top up-and-coming 205-pounders when they collided at UFC 125 back in February 2011. Jones handed “Darth” his first professional defeat in 13 outings by submitting him in the second round of that pivotal showdown.
Jones went on to capture the title in his next scrap, which he has since parlayed into becoming the most decorated UFC champ the division has ever seen. Bader wasn’t able to rebound from his defeat to Jones and was upset by a well-past-his-prime Tito Ortiz in his following fight.
Bader has since righted the ship and has won seven of his last nine, including four straight decisions.
Bader will battle Daniel Cormier in hostile territory June 6 in Louisiana. If he’s able to get past the last man Jones beat, he would love to get another crack at “Bones” because he is convinced the rematch would be completely different.
“I’m a totally different fighter [compared to] then,” Bader professed on Submission Radio. “I came into this sport [as] just a wrestler and that’s it. I didn’t really have anything else, and by getting the right people around me and everything, I’ve definitely grown as a fighter. So, I definitely want to get a rematch because I’m definitely 100 percent not the fighter I am [now]. And the fighter I am today would whoop my own ass then I was back then.
“I love challenges. I love fighting the best guys.”
Jones quickly caught wind of Bader’s comments and offered up his own analysis on a potential sequel.
“Ryan I would spank that even faster next time,” Jones responded via Twitter.
Jones defends his throne against Anthony Johnson May 23 at UFC 187. Given the current landscape in the light heavyweight division, it’s possible Bader or Cormier could find themselves in a championship affair with a win.
Jones holds a convincing victory over Cormier, as well.