Wrestling All-American Ryan Bader Set to Compete on Ultimate Fighter
Sept. 16, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. - Ryan Bader, a former two-time All-American and three-time Pac-10 champion wrestler at Arizona State University, is a member of the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, a reality fighting show that airs on Spike TV and will debut Wednesday night. The show, designed as a tournament to determine who might be the next rising star in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), will air the start of its eighth season on Wednesday night with Bader standing as one of the top contenders for the title.
“Darth” Bader, as he is known in the world of MMA (mixed martial arts), is one of 32 fighters on the show that will feature entrants from the lightweight (145-155 pounds) and light heavyweight (185-205 pounds) divisions with 16 men in each division. Bader, a light heavyweight, will join the rest of the cast as the opening shows will feature fights with the 16 winners (eight at each division) earning a place in the TUF house for the six-week event where they will train under coaches Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (current interim UFC heavyweight champion) and former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
Bader is the second former Sun Devil to compete in the TUF series after former teammate C.B. Dollaway was the runner-up in the seventh season. The duo, who train at Arizona Combat Sports in Tempe, are the second and third Sun Devil All-Americans from the 2006 team that have compete in a UFC event, following heavyweight Cain Velasquez, who is undefeated in the heavyweight division and is widely considered one of the top up-and-coming stars.
During his time in Tempe, Bader competed at 197 pounds and earned All-America honors in 2004 and 2006, placing fourth and seventh, respectively, at the NCAA Championships. He also won his weight class at the Pac-10 Wrestling Championships in 2003, 2004 and 2006 while also helping the team to a trio of Pac-10 titles (2003, 2005, 2006). Overall, he compiled 120 victories with the Sun Devils, which ranks eighth all-time in program history, while his 55 wins in dual meets also ranks as the eighth-best in program history.