UFC Vegas 48: Jesse Strader Says Anheliger Fight Is For the Fans

Bantamweight Jesse Strader’s short-notice UFC debut just over a year ago did not go according to plan.

Stepping up against Montel Jackson, the California-based fighter saw things go sideways in under two minutes.  Ahead of his return at UFC Vegas 48 this Saturday, Strader (5-2) isn’t making any excuses for the loss, however.

“I had to do what I had to do to get into the UFC, I was battling through some injuries, but that’s not really the excuse.  Short-notice, we already knew it was going to be that, so it was okay, we were prepared for that.  Paid the price for some little mistakes.  But dude, I couldn’t be more excited to get back in the gym to work on those mistakes,” Stader told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview.

“Unfortunately, I had another fight [fall through], and then I had to go get an injury fixed up real quick.  And now we’re here,” he added.  The fight that fell through was back in August, against Mana Martinez.  The silver lining, “Now I’m 100%,” Strader stated.  “I’ve never felt better, I haven’t felt this good in so long.  I feel like I’m back to me, back to myself, I’m ready to have a fight for the fans.”

This time out, Stader is up against Chad Anheliger, who won his way into the UFC on Dana White’s Contender Series last year.  “Tough guy, scrappy guy,” Starder said of his opponent. “The fans gotta understand, man, this one’s for them right here.  This one’s gonna be a fight.”

Even outside of fighting, Jesse Strader is very health oriented — case in point, this dinner of raw liver, beef, and egg.  Given the “COVID 20” many people have put on during the past few years, Strader believes a focus on staying healthy is more important than ever.

“Basically man, I feel like America is very obese, and this pandemic, this pandemic is taking out a lot of people that I know and care about.  And I don’t want to see everyone losing their family members to something so simple to fix,” Strader explained.  “Just diet and exercise.  And it doesn’t have to be crazy, you can enjoy yourself in moderation, but I’m just trying to get out there, trying to help what I can.  Because the more I talk to people, the more I find out how little they know, how little they actually know about nutrition.”

Be sure to check out the rest of our interview with Jesse Stader above.  Strader takes on Chad Anheliger this Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, all part of UFC Vegas 48 on ESPN+.