Ryan Bader, the No. 3-ranked light heavyweight fighter of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), recently spoke with Submission Radio, shedding new insight on how he almost came to blows with rival and reigning light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and how the alleged hit-and-run incident involving Jon Jones raises questions about the legitimacy of the division’s current champion.
The 31-year-old jiu jitsu fighter also shared what he called his "Mad Max" experience, in which he and his wife road-tested their two-seat sand buggy Razor last March. Bader, a former winner of the reality series “The Ultimate Fighter,” told how they were engulfed in flames for a half-mile after the buggy lost its brakes, prompting it to jump out of control. He added that they had to hastily scamper out of the flaming vehicle, which was immediately reduced to its frame by the flames.
“And all of a sudden the Razor wasn’t performing like it should, and I had no brakes all of a sudden. And we went over this jump and it stopped. And all of a sudden we were engulfed in flames and my wife is screaming, couldn’t get out of her harness. I had to get her out of her harness, I got out. We ran 50 feet away, and the thing was a fireball. Gas tank went off, and what was left was just the frame of it,” Bader told Submission Radio.
The new lease on life will allow Bader, a former NCAA Division I wrestler, to again pursue Cormier, who Bader claims gave him extra motivation by repeatly belittling his accomplishments in the Octagon. Cormier and Bader were originally scheduled to settle the score at UFC Fight Night 68 last June 6, but the former was elevated to the title fight opposite Anthony “Rumble” Johnson after Jon Jones was stripped of his belt and the fight booking. Jones' alleged hit-and-run incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was the last straw in a series of controversies that eventually led to the relinquishment of his title and the imposition of an indefinite suspension by the UFC.
Bader has not been shy about the bad blood between him and Cormier, admitting that he planned to get his hands on Cormier when he rushed the stage during a post-fight news conference for UFC 187. He added that had it not been for security personnel, the matter could have escalated to a full-blown melee. Watch Bader recount his dune buggy brush with death below: