So Bader and Dollaway hit the UK for some fun and seminars, pretty cool having them over here teaching us Brits some top drawer wrestling. We were welcomed along to a seminar they were doing at Andy Roberts BJJ and MMA Academy in Hampshire and asked the guys some questions.
AddictedMMA: Hey Guys, how is the UK treating you?
Ryan: The UK is awesome, we got in here yesterday and took a nap because we were pretty jet lagged, then we hit a few pubs. I’ve been to London before and loved it then as well, and we’re having fun now and getting to travel around doing seminars.
C.B: It’s my second time here, the first time I didn’t really get to go out, it’s pretty cool to get out and see England a little bit and meet some people from another country that like MMA as well. Everyone’s been great and it’s been fun.
AddictedMMA: It’s great having two wrestling experts over on our shores sharing your knowledge. Since you guys have made the transition to MMA where do you feel your skills outside of wrestling have improved the most?
Ryan: Definitely our stand-up, because we came in with no stand-up whatsoever, we didn’t even know how to throw a punch properly. We both worked really hard on it, so for me, that is definitely the main part for me.
C.B: For me, I felt my stand up was taking off pretty fast, so I started concentrating on my jiu jitsu. Having the wrestling background and learning to make it offensive and start submitting guys, to take those chances and look for the finishes. So I would say over the last year and a half it’s been my jiu jitsu.
AddictedMMA: Both of you have had some massive wins since signing with the U.F.C. What has been your personal highlight of your MMA career so far?
Ryan: For me, it would be Rampage Jackson, I went out to Japan and defeated a big name. He’s a champion and he’s defended his belt many times. I have grown up watching him and he is one of my favorite fighters. Getting in the cage with all those big names from Jardine up until my last fight has been an honor.
C.B: Yeah for me it’s Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, he publicly attacked me, like just talking all types of trash. To be the guy that retired him, it’s very satisfying to get the last laugh on him. So that is definitely my biggest win. I have just seen that he has been up to more antics but I will catch up with that when I get home.
AddictedMMA: Did you guys get to watch any of the Olympic wrestling and were you impressed by any of the talent on display?
Ryan: Yeah I saw a little bit, we were travelling whilst it was going on, but to have two gold medallists from the U.S makes me very proud, definitely the hardest job ever and they represented the country well, that’s a lot of hard work and dedication.
C.B: We know the kind of work they do for that little bit of notoriety they get, you know, so that’s awesome, and those two guys that won gold wrestled around our era so we knew those guys, it was great to see them take the gold.
AddictedMMA: Ryan we always hear how difficult it can be to fight Lyoto Machida. Once you were actually in the cage, was it even more tricky than expected?
Ryan: Yeah a little bit, he was hard to get too basically, he would be in and out and a difficult guy to fight because he makes you play his game. I went in with a plan and it didn’t work out, it happens. (Laughs)
Addicted: Ryan along with yourself, there are some top prospects coming through at 205lbs. Alexander Gustafsson, Phil Davis, Glover Teixeira, Ryan Jimmo….etc. Do any of those bouts interest you, or would you prefer to fight one of the more established guys next?
Ryan: Um, yeah, I feel like I’m going to be around the sport for a long time so I’m pretty sure I will fight all of those guys at some point in my career. So we will go back and figure out who I’m fighting next. It’s always nice to fight an established guy with a big name. All of the guys in the UFC are tough so you may as well face a big name.
Addicted: Ryan, Jordan Burroughs blasted through everyone on his way to Olympic gold, how do you think he would fare in MMA?
Ryan: I think he would do very well, but it’s a whole new sport, if you have the dedication to get a gold medal then you have the right attitude to become an MMA fighter. There are rumours that he may.
Addicted: Rumours have started about Rashad Evans dropping to MW. You are a fairly big LHW, would 185lbs ever be an option for you, or is that too big a weight cut.
Ryan: No that’s way too big, I have wrestled at 197 and that sucked so I couldn’t imagine going to 185 (laughs). I stay pretty lean and don’t get so big, so I don’t see it happening.
Addicted: Ryan the UFC seems to have two very big platforms for fighters, PPV events and FOX shows. You have competed in co-main events on both. Do you have a preference on which event you fight on?
Ryan: Yeah the FOX show was awesome, it was at 5pm so it was earlier and that was nice, you don’t have to wait round all day. It’s on a huge platform as far as free and viewership wise, network and better for sponsors so I would rather fight on FOX.
Addicted: Ryan, recently we have seen very young fighters like Max Holloway, Michael MacDonald, Rory MacDonald and Charles Oliveira enter impressive performances. Are there any lesser known prospects we should be looking out for?
Ryan: Oh yeah, there’s tons, we have a ton at our gym Power MMA, they have everything and they have been doing it since they were kids. The bar will be raised for us veterans as the sport is always evolving.
Addicted: C.B, Jason Miller apparently retired after his loss to you. Is there some kind of bragging rights in being able to say you retired a fighter?
C.B: Not really bragging rights, it’s just more like satisfying on a personal level after all the stuff he said about me, like I didn’t belong in the cage with him. You know it was just nice to go out there and get the win however I had to, and I guess retiring him was whatever, he was a big personality for the sport so it was kind of a shame to see him go. But on a personal level I was pleased to see him go.
Addicted: C.B, TRT is a very hot topic in MMA today, is that something you would ever consider?
C.B: It’s not that much of an advantage I believe, it’s more about skills at the end of the day.
Addicted: We just saw good friends Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard fight each other at UFC 150. What is your take on fighting friends / team mates?
C.B: I don’t know how team matey they were, I think Melvin joined their camp 2 or 3 years ago, whereas me and Ryan have trained together all the way through college. But if it came down to contendership or a title shot and I got a shot, we would both understand it, we would fight It’s a business at the end of the day.
Addicted: After beating a big “name” in Mayhem Miller, what kind of fight are you pushing for next? Do you have any clue about who you will or would like to meet next?
C.B: I’d kind of like to get a shot at Jake Shields next, he’s a big name, I think I match up decently with him and I’d just like to test myself, I think he would be a good next fight for me.
Addicted: What do you guys think of Andy Roberts training facility?
Ryan: I love going to new gyms and these guys are passionate.
C.B: It’s great to meet guys with the same goals as us.
Addicted: Thank you for your time gentlemen, are there any shout outs you would like to give?
Ryan: A big shout out to the UCFC guys in Yorkshire.
C.B: Yeah a big thank you to those guys.
Addicted: And of course our signature question. Outside of MMA what are Ryan Bader and C.B Dollaway addicted to?
Ryan: LSD, heroin and cocaine! Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. No! (laughs) We just like to get out and go camping and motorbikes and stuff. Different things with friends.
C.B: Off-roading, outdoors,guns, camping, shooting and men’s stuff.