Ryan Bader kept his record unblemished on Saturday night, scoring the biggest win over his career in front of the UFC 119 crowd at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Bader nearly finished the fight in the opening minutes when he took Antonio Rogerio Nogueira to the mat, storming him with a brutal ground and pound assault. Nogueira somehow weathered the storm, even landing a big right hand in the waning moments of round one.
Bader had a more difficult time in rounds two and three, landing the occasional takedown, but having a much more difficult time of it, and not getting the same sort of ground and pound result he had in the opener.
For his part, Nogueira only turned up the pressure as the fight wore on. He tagged Bader repeatedly with has patented left hand. The former Arizona State wrestler continued to fire back with his own powerful punches, but neither did any significant damage.
Nogueira mounted some strong offense late in the fight, mixing up his punches with several knees that found their mark, but it wasn’t enough to sway the judges, who had all three rounds in Bader’s favor, across the board.
Winner of “The Ultimate Fighter Season 8,” Bader’s record now stands at a perfect 12-0. A contenders’ showdown with fellow rising star Jon Jones may now loom on the horizon.