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Bader Family

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A Father and a Fighter

Ryan Bader balances fatherhood and being an MMA fighter.

At his home in Queen Creek, surrounded by his wife Daisy of 13 years and their three children, Ryan Bader is like most fathers and husbands. There is joking at his expense and talk of the kid's football practice the night before. The children, Kanon, 11, Hartley, 10, and Rocket, 8,  fill the house with laughter and energy. Ryan and his wife are a bit outnumbered, but one thing is clear, family comes first. However, Ryan can tackle a challenge, he is after all the Bellator Heavyweight Division World Champion, and was the first ever to simultaneously hold a two weight champion title in Bellator history in both the Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Division.

Mixed Martial Arts is a fierce sport. Two men face off in a cage utilizing all types of martial arts to defeat their opponent. Ryan's path to MMA began at the age of seven when his father introduced him to the sport of wrestling. From then on, he participated in no less than three: football, baseball, as well as wrestling. Originally from Reno, Nevada, Ryan eventually entered the wrestling program at Arizona State University. While there he thrived, enjoying the atmosphere of ASU and even winning the All-American twice.

When his university days were behind him, Ryan still craved that competitiveness. When he was introduced to MMA he quickly realized how different it was from wrestling. At the age of 22, he had never thrown, as he puts it, a 'correct punch'. In addition to his wrestling, he had to learn jiu-jitsu and kickboxing from the ground up. Ryan admits the shift was intimidating at first, 'Yes, you can get hurt... it's a scary thing to move into MMA ... and not knowing anything but wrestling.' he says about that initial move.'

Holding his titles now, Ryan can have no regrets about how it all turned out. He has since become a husband and father in those years and says it has changed him and his outlook on the sport. He enters the cage not only to win but with the thought of his family's support on his mind. Surprisingly, despite the aggressive nature of the sport, Ryan claims he never enters the cage with anger.

Instead, Ryan credits sports for giving him discipline and a work ethic, something he hopes he instills in his children in whatever they choose to pursue. His career has also given him opportunities to see the world, work with other athletes, and develop other businesses. In the next few years he plans to build upon his current ventures including a luxury tequila called Tequila Komos and is part owner in Pour Decisions Patio and Kitchen in Scottsdale.

In addition, Ryan knows how to use his position to give back as well. He is especially passionate about giving his support to our veterans through the Special Forces Charitable Trust and the Navy Seals Foundation. One organization Ryan is most excited to partner with is called the Outdoor Experience for All, which takes disabled veterans and kids with life threatening illnesses outdoors to hunt and fish. 

One wonders, with so much going on, how does Ryan balance it all? According to him, it is a question of priorities, he says, 'Number one is my family... as soon as I leave that gym... I am a husband, father, friend.'

'Number one is my family... as soon as I leave that gym... I am a husband, father, friend.' - Ryan Bader

  • Bader Family
  • Ryan with his children: Hartley, Rocket, and Kanon.
  • Ryan and his wife Daisy
  • Ryan Bader