Fabricio Werdum Will Not Face Anthony Johnson- Ryan Bader Picked as Replacement

Published 12/15/2020, 11:54 PM EST


Former two-division Bellator MMA champion Ryan Bader will step in on short notice to take on Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson at Submission Underground. ‘Darth Bader’ will come in as a late replacement for Fabricio Werdum, who recently departed from the UFC.

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Submission Underground match-maker Heather Standing broke the news and promotional boss Chael Sonnen was quick to confirm.

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The showcase event created by former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen is one of the most popular tournaments in contact grappling. There have been several notable match-ups over the years, including Jon Jones facing off against Dan Henderson. The year-end show attracts a lot of attention, and fighters enjoy open mat tournaments to get a change of pace.

Submission Underground: Anthony Johnson vs Ryan Bader

‘Rumble’ Johnson is back in the headlines after being one of the most high profile free-agent signings in recent memory. Johnson is part of the Bellator MMA’s light heavyweight division alongside his SUG opponent Ryan Bader. Moreover, the presence of several high-profile names like Yoel Romero, Phil Davis, and Lyoto Machida makes it a fan-favorite division for 205-pounders.

LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 20: Anthony Johnson celebrates his first-round knockout win over Glover Teixeira in their light heavyweight bout at the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Johnson will return from a long hiatus from combat after losing his second title fight opportunity against Daniel Cormier. He pursued bodybuilding as well as took an active role in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships on an administrative level during his absence. He’s now back in the USADA testing pool and will look to make a giant impact.

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Ryan Bader is coming off a loss to newly minted light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov in his last bout. Bader fought back in August and had 7 wins in 8 fights before dropping his belt. During his incredible run, he captured two titles and accrued the heavyweight title by defeating all-time great Fedor Emelianenko.

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The grappling spectacle is expected to draw in plenty of eyeballs, as both fighters are fan-favorites in their own right. Additionally, there’s a tremendous buzz around Anthony Johnson considering his extended time away from the sport. How excited are you to see this bout?

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Darryl Pinto

1632 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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