Ryan Bader will face Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira in the main event this weekend, but the rematch wasn't his first choice, Maurício "Shogun" Rua was.
“We were keeping in shape because potentially we were going to fight Shogun on this card,” Bader told MMAjunkie.com.
But that fight never came to fruition and he was offered a rematch (six years in the making) with Nogueira instead.
“My first reaction was, ‘Hell, yeah. Let’s do it. Why not?'” Bader said.
The pair first met at UFC 119, in September 2010, where Bader defeated Nogueira via a unanimous decision. Bader would come off that win to lose two-in-a-row to Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz.
Despite already having a win over the Brazilian, Bader says he looks to perform even better this time around.
“I believe I’ve grown way more than he has in those six years, and so I look to go in there and show people that – and it’s good for me. I’ve never had a rematch, and I want to gauge that myself and see how much better I’ve gotten.”
After his destruction of Ilir Latifi last September, can you deny that?