I think Ra's cause he bested a young Bruce, in straight H2H (minus the Mind your surroundings) and he even said Bruce was his best student evaaaaa. Bane barely lost to a barely in shape Bruce (though there last fight was complete crap IMO).
Didn't Bruce have tougher armor because of his age? Alfred acted like Bane was the best that Batman was going up against... I still have not decided who would win though..
He had more the same light armor he had in Begins, but if you mean the leg thing then ya but that's cause he was already in bad shape (I loved that fight btw). The second one he was more in shape (barely) and didn't have the brace thing.
When Liam fought him he had tougher armor and was in his Prime.