"I think it's a good matchup for me," Matyushenko said. "I think he has been working on his striking. We're both wrestlers, and I'm also working on my striking. I think last time, I had a hard time with Gustafsson because of his reach advantage. Ryan Bader is much more like my size and my reach, so I think it's going to be a great match and a great fight."
Matyushenko typically struggles against taller opponents who have huge reach advantages. He won't have that problem against the shorter, stockier Bader.
"I'm just enjoying my time right now, and as long as there are fans that will keep watching and the UFC keeps calling me, I'll be in," Matyushenko said.
With a victory over Bader, the 42-year-old Matyushenko would easily become a top 15 contender in the UFC's light heavyweight division.
As he has gotten older, he has tapered off on heavy sparring sessions in order to prevent injuries from occurring.
"If you're a young fighter, up-and-coming, you need a lot of sparring just to learn and get into it and find your style and stuff like that," Matyushenko said. "When you're an already established fighter, you definitely can modify it to minimize injuries and stuff like that, especially when big fights are on the line. You don't want to get hurt for nothing.
"You definitely have to be careful with what you're doing and train smarter, not harder. That's the transition I've been almost forced into. There are a lot of modifications you can make. I don't want to give out my secrets, but you can actually set your training to be more intense but without the danger of heavy sparring."
Matyushenko fights Bader on Jan. 26 in Chicago. UFC on FOX 6 will be headlined by a flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson.