Longtime Gilbert resident Ryan Bader will be competing for a mixed martial arts world title on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
To prepare for the Bellator 180 Light Heavyweight fight, Bader, 33, has been hitting the gym and training ferociously the past two months.
An Arizona State University alumnus, Bader said his MMA training includes facets of jiu-jitsu, wrestling, sparring and other forms of exercise and therapy. His collegiate wrestling career at ASU, where he was no stranger to All-American honors, encouraged him to dabble in MMA.
“It’s a grueling eight weeks to make sure I’m prepared for one night,” Bader said. “So I have to put all the work in three times a day.”
Besides the intensity of physical training, the road to New York City did not come free from challenges along the way.
“You have to be self-motivated,” Bader said. “It’s not something that somebody else has to babysit you and say, ‘Hey, you need to be at the gym.’”
He said bouncing back from losses or injuries is another challenge because MMA can be as much of a mental game as it is physical.
Bader is also one of the founders of the Power MMA and Fitness gym at 855 N. Gilbert Road and of the cognitive enhancement shot supplement, Jubi. Jubi helps people focus their energy and bring down stress and anxiety levels. Some Jubi suppliers in the Valley are Circle K, Bashas’ and Hi-Health.
He said Jubi differs from energy drinks because it won’t deliver a caffeine-concentrated high and consequential crash later. Since its creation about two years ago, Jubi is now sold in about 5,000 stores nationally.
Bader’s gym will be moving to a new location soon, and might take on a new name. He said possible new names will be along the lines of the Power Training Center or Power Fight Team, with state-of-the-art facilities.
In addition to his wife and three children, Bader credits his friends, coaches and training partners as his support system wherever he goes.
“Your training partners are there to get you better, even though they don’t want to be in there every single day. They’re there for you,” Bader said. “And, in turn, you’re there for them. When I win, we all win. When I lose, we all lose.”
Viewers can tune in to the Spike television channel at 3 p.m. June 24 Gilbert time to watch Bader duke it out for the revered title.