UFC Fight Night 68: Cormier vs. Bader Date: June 6, 2015 Location: New Orleans, Louisiana Venue: Smoothie King Center Broadcast: FS1 UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Daniel Cormier Daniel Cormier (15-1) is a former Olympic freestyle wrestler-turned-heavyweight powerhouse out of American Kickboxing Academy who has had a rollercoaster’s share of ups and downs in his life. An excruciating 2008 Olympic bid in wrestling led Cormier to be named team captain, but he was unable to compete due to kidney failure during his weight cut. Moving to MMA, Cormier made his pro debut and hasn’t looked back since. Training with Cain Velasquez a host of quality talent out of AKA, Cormier has developed an explosive stand-up game to go along with his dangerous Olympic-level wrestling. He used those skills to plow through the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix as a reserve replacement for Alistair Overeem, knocking off Jeff Monson (unanimous decision), Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (first-round knockout) and Josh Barnett (unanimous decision) en route to the ‘championship.’ Cormier closed out Strikeforce with a second-round TKO of Dion Staring, then moved on to the Octagon to dominate Frank Mir and then later Roy Nelson at UFC 166. He then dropped down to 205lbs and picked up two stoppage wins over Dan Henderson and Patrick Cummins to earn his shot at the UFC light heavyweight title, but he lost a hard-fought decision to the champ Jon Jones at UFC 182. But it was a great fight and with a win over Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night 68 will be on the short list for another title shot. UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Ryan Bader Ryan Bader (19-4) has won his last four fights over Phil Davis, Ovince St-Preux Anthony Perosh and Rafael Cavalcante in mostly dominant fashion to re-emerge as one of the top 10 light heavyweights in the world. The 31-year-old wrestler won TUF season eight and has since gone on to achieve a 12-4 record in the UFC including four finishes. He has beaten everyone in the middle of the 205lb division and his only losses have come to the top dogs in the weight class like Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira. With a powerful wrestling base to go along with knockout power in his hands, Bader is one of the best at 205lbs and despite losing to Jones earlier in his career, with a win over Daniel Cormier at UFC Fight Night 68 he may very well get a long-awaited crack at the UFC light heavyweight title. Opening UFC Fight Night 68 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Cormier a -505 favorite (bet $505 to win $100) while Bader opened as a +335 underdog (bet $100 to win $335) at 5Dimes Sportsbook. While there’s no doubt Bader has earned a tilt against a top light heavyweight contender after racking up four straight wins, Comier just a bad matchup for him. Bader has been getting by in his wins by using his wrestling to control where his fights take place, and he won’t be able to do that against Cormier, who is quite simply the better wrestler. Cormier is also the better striker to. So really, it’s hard to see Bader winning this fight. This is a mismatch, and that’s why you see the line so inflated in Cormier’s favor.