PHOENIX – Ryan Bader doesn’t understand why Corey Anderson went public with alleged training success.

A believer in the often discussed rule of “what happens in sparring stays in the training room,” Bader (28-6 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) sees his Bellator 268 opponent Anderson (15-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) in violation. Since the two fighters aligned in the promotion’s light heavyweight grand prix, Anderson has stated that he got the better of Bader in sparring from years back.

“Corey is out there talking about how he knows or whatever,” Bader told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “He knows what? We were sparring. I’m in the middle of camp and maybe he got a takedown in sparring or something like that? If he’s holding on to that, I’m not that guy. We’re talking about practice. Second of all, even if we really did, you don’t go around telling media and other people when you’re a paid sparring partner. That’s like an unwritten rule. Whatever. If he needs to use that, it is what it is. But I’m the guy that’s the heavyweight champion, a double champion. I’m only getting better.”

Another comment made by Anderson was that Bader wasn’t necessarily declining, but age was taking his toll. Despite the comments, the two have been largely cordial, which makes Bader think Anderson might just be talking to talk.

“(He’s) projecting, maybe,” Bader said. “Boost his confidence. Maybe to have something to say. No, I feel amazing. I’m better now than I ever was, physically and then most importantly mentally. I’m happy to be here. I feel amazing, best shape of my life here. I’m only getting better. Age is a number and I feel better than when I was 22, 25, 30. The thing with that is consistency. I’ve always gotten better every fight and learned something. I’m in the gym constantly. Whatever he’s talking about, there’s no validity to it whatsoever.”

Bellator 268 takes place Saturday at Footprint Center. The main card airs on Showtime after prelims on MMA Junkie.



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