Bader, who won the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” began his professional career with 12 straight victories. But two losses in a row to Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz quickly dropped him out of title contention.
Now geared up to make another run at the title, Bader is thrilled to have earned the victory over Brilz.
“I didn’t let it get to me,” Bader told HeavyMMA.com’s Megan Olivi regarding his two-fight losing streak. “I was just confident in my training camp and training partners and coaches and what I was doing these last couple months. Since that last loss, I’ve changed a lot of stuff. I felt good, but at the same time it’s always there in the back of your head, so I’m just glad I went out there and performed.”
Bader didn’t just perform – he entered himself into the Knockout of the Night running, landing a perfect right hand behind the left ear of Brilz, putting him out instantly.
While the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner did not walk away with the $70,000 bonus, the “Punch of Death,” which has been landed by several other mixed martial artists in recent years, including Mike Russow and Junior dos Santos, was not a fluke, as Bader and his camp saw the opening while watching film on Brilz and executed the technique perfectly, starting his second run towards the UFC light heavyweight title with a bang.
“We saw a lot of his boxing,” Bader said. “A lot of motion, a lot of change in levels, and he would either duck or pull back, so I threw a jab. Then his head would go back to get out of the way, because you don’t want to get hit with the jab, and that’s when you follow it up with the right hand. Honestly, the gameplan went perfectly.”