Ryan Bader speaks to West Coast Authentic before heading to Japan
BADER: I’m doing well, I’ve just been training last week here before I leave for Japan and camp’s going perfectly, I’m healthy, I’m ready to go, I’m in shape, I feel good and healthy to go to fight.
WCA: Good to hear hey and thanks for signing those hundreds of photos and gloves we sent you last month, hope you didn’t injure your hand in the process!
BADER: No, absolutely, loved doing it, loved getting it out there to the fans and all that so check it out westcoastauthentic.com and get all your authentic MMA gear.
WCA: I imagine UFC144 in Japan is on your mind right now, are you looking forward to it?
BADER: Oh ya, definitely, you know in training camp you kinda put your head down and just grinding away but know that the fight is get closer you know you start to back off a little bit from the heavy, heavy training so you start see the light at the end of the tunnel and instead of beating up on your training partners all day and getting beat up by them you get do it to someone else you know so I’m excited about it.
WCA: Do you like sushi?
BADER: I do like sushi. We actually went up to Tokyo in November for the press conference so I got to check it out a little bit and know what to expect so ya it should be a cool experience and it was kind of nice to go there beforehand.
WCA: So you and Rampage, did you try and keep your distance when you were over there?
BADER: We were at the press conference and then the day after they had has going around seeing different sites and everything around Japan and some media stuff and we were pretty much with each other all day. Ya, it was fun.
WCA: So Rampage Jackson being a fan favorite over in Japan, do you think this will benefit him or will this be added pressure for him?
BADER: You know, I think it will just be the same really, I mean everywhere you go the fans are not really fighting the fight for you or anything like that you know, we are both travelling over there, we are both doing the same thing and we both train hard for this fight and it is only him and I in the cage you know I am not fighting all of his fans or all of Japan or anything like that I am just fighting him, you know that it really what it comes down to. You know he can have home field advantage but that doesn’t really get to me at all.
WCA: Ok, you’re coming off an impressive knockout win against Jason Brilz in November are we going to see a repeat of that strategy against Rampage?
BADER: Yeah, you know, we got some new coaching staff, I got a new head coach before that fight with Jason Brilz, watching film, running our camps and we had a new boxing coach before that fight also so I feel like I grown a lot as a fighter and definitely you know I gotta use all my tools against a guy like Rampage so am going to go in there, put on a good show, use everything together and go out there and get the win.
WCA: What’s your game plan for dealing with the long flight and time change?
BADER: Yeah, I fought in Australia before, it was a longer flight, I got there a little bit earlier you know you basically get on their time. We have been sparring at little bit here in the morning since we will be fighting around noon Sunday morning in Japan. I’ve done it before. In Australia we fought at like 10am so I’ve been there before and know what to expect and I won’t let that added pressure and added travel get to me at all. I am just going to do what I do, do what I trained for and show up and perform.
WCA: Are you going to spend some time in Japan after the fight?
BADER: We going to stay about three more days, it is going to be nice you know we fight in the morning on Sunday so we’ll have all that day to relax where usually you fight at night, get out of there about midnight and don’t have a chance to really hangout at all so you know we are going to go out there and stay until Wednesday and my coach will be out there and a couple friends are going to be out there so we are going to have a good time afterwards.
WCA: Now back to signing autographs for a second, do you find it to be a great way to connect with your fans?
BADER: Absolutely, anything where I can connect with my fans, you know they drive the sport and everything and for them to get something authentic, right from the source is a great way to connect with them and I’m honored to just be able to do that and that people actually want that.
WCA: What was the craziest thing a fan has ever had you sign?
BADER: Oh man, I’ve signed body parts yeah they usually say sign my arm and I’m like… really? you really want me to sign your arm here? Sometimes you sign a picture of you with a guy from a long time ago and then he sees you later and has you sign that picture that you just took with him then again another picture that he just took of the picture of the picture… that’s pretty crazy but definitely cool.
WCA: Are you a sports memorabilia collector yourself?
BADER: Not so much. I do have a lot of MMA stuff from just being around the sport and being around the guys. As a kid I lived in Reno Nevada and we use to go over to Oakland and my dad was a huge Yankees fan. I have some stuff signed by Don Mattingly and Paul O’Neil, a couple guys like that but other than that it is mostly MMA and I have some footballs, some hockey sticks and stuff like that from just being in the sport of MMA and meeting these different people. I guess I do a little bit and when opportunity arises you can get some from somebody or we do a little trade, I definitely like to do it.
WCA: Ok Ryan thanks so much for your time today, is there anything you would like to say or plug?
BADER: Just look out for this fight and to just let everybody know that all the stuff we are giving out and signing is the real deal so check it out and hopefully it will be worth a lot more after this fight.
WCA: I’m sure it will be. You can follow Ryan on twitter at twitter.com/ryanbader and be sure to visit westcoastauthentic.com for Ryan’s exclusive autographed memorabilia, so come and check it out. Thanks again Ryan and good luck in Japan, we will be rooting for ya!