Anthony Johnson will face Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 18 this Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., in what should be the highlight of the evening.
Johnson (20-5), who has won 10 of his last 11 fights, and Bader (21-4), who has won five straight and six of seven, are two of the top light heavyweights in their division.
Johnson dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Thursday night to discuss the fight.
“I have a lot of respect for every fighter,” Johnson said on Ferrall on the Bench. “We go out there and put it on the line. We don’t just put it on the line of the fans. We put it on the line for our families and things like that. Our career can end on a single punch or a single kick or something crazy, so I definitely have respect for anybody that goes out there and puts it on the line.”
Bader, who was an All-American at Arizona State, has competed in UFC since 2009. The 32-year-old relies on his muay Thai ability and uses kicks and elbows with the best of them. Johnson, meanwhile, is one of the hardest hitters in the history of his division and is more of a defensive wrestler. Still, he strikes early, often and hard.
“I think everything is going to be the key to this fight,” the 31-year-old Johnson said. “My striking, my wrestling, distance, speed, power – I think everything is gong to be an advantage for me, but it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be tough. He wants that next title shot, and so do I. So it’s a test for both of us.”