Ryan Bader has been pushing for using ‘The Master’ nickname to no avail

By Drake Riggs - October 15, 2021

PHOENIX — Ryan Bader is known as “Darth” when entering the cage. However, the current Bellator heavyweight champ has hoped to use another nickname.


Bader is 13-2 (1 no contest) in his last 16 bouts overall putting him on the most dominant stretch of his career by capturing titles in two weight classes. Therefore utilizing the nickname of “The Master” seems fitting… until piecing it all together.

“I would walk out to that 100 percent,” Bader told BJPenn.com of the nickname. “I don’t know with Showtime now and all that, they’re kinda like ‘Nah.’ I tried to do that. Yeah, my buddy Jordan Johnson [is ‘Big Swingin’]. I’ve tried. I’ve tried it in the UFC too. Man, I’ll ask Bellator like, ‘Please, just one time, before I’m ever done, announce me as The Master Bader.’

“I tried to actually do that in Chael [Sonnen’s] Submission Underground. They’re like, ‘What do you want to be called?’ I’m like ‘Master,’ and they’re like okay… then they thought about it and they’re like ‘Dude, we can’t do that. We’re on UFC Fight Pass.’ So, it’s not on my accord! I would try!”

Ryan Bader will look to get one step closer to reclaiming the light heavyweight title at Bellator 268 when taking on Corey Anderson in the evening’s co-main event acting as the 205-pound tournament’s one of two semifinal bouts.

“He’s one of the top guys,” Bader said. “He’s in his prime right now, he’s on a tear, he’s up there. But I’ve fought everybody. I’ve literally fought everybody. In the UFC and in Bellator. So for me, it’s just one of those guys. It’s how I approached Fedor [Emelianenko]. He had the mystique about him and everything. I didn’t put him on a pedestal. Just said, ‘You know what, this is another man I gotta defeat on this date, gonna go in there and do it.’ Same thing with Corey. He’s tough, he’s one of the best fighters in the world at light heavyweight right now. So am I. We’ll see who’s better.”


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