• UFC 126

Bader tells Jon Jones to respect his power

ESPN staff
January 26, 2011
Ryan Bader will not be used as a stepping stone

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Ryan Bader has warned Jon Jones to keep his hands up and his chin down ahead of the pair's hugely anticipated collision at UFC 126.

Bader v Jones is rightly described as "the future" by the TUF 8 winner, who is yet to be defeated in 12 fights. Bader knows the winner is likely to stand within one victory of a shot at the UFC light-heavyweight title, and he is adamant he will not be Jones' launchpad for greater things.

"I've been the underdog a lot in the UFC and I love playing that role. It's going to be sweet to go out there and upset them," said Bader.

"This fight is huge and this fight is the future. The winner is right up there with the top contenders. I'm not anybody's stepping stone, I'm not a gauge, I'm here to win and that's what I'll do."

Bader has already delivered a huge knockout of Keith Jardine in his relatively short career, and while Jones is earning all the rave reviews, he warned the flamboyant 23-year-old to guard his chin come February 5.

"It doesn't matter who stands in front of me, I've got to find a way to go out there and win," said Bader. "Jon Jones is a dynamic fighter, he's very exciting, he's been going out there and beating people convincingly. He's got spinning back elbows, great throws, but I'm looking to go out there and cut through the hype to beat Jon Jones.

"I think I have a better range in my wrestling base, and my power... he's got to respect it. He's got to be smart about rushing in on me."

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