Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans hasn’t fought since November of 2013, where he defeated Chael Sonnen via TKO at the UFC’s 20th-anniversary show. Since then, Evans has been battling injuries, but it appears that he’s ready to return to the octagon, and he wants a fight with fellow light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader.
Evans has long said that he wants to fight Bader in his return fight, and it appears that Bader wants to fight Evans as well, and both of them want it to take place at UFC 192 on October 3 in Houston, Texas. Both Bader and Evans are in the top five at light heavyweight — Bader is ranked third, Evans is ranked fifth — so a fight between the two makes sense.
Evans, who is 35, underwent knee surgery last year, which forced him to miss his fight with Daniel Cormier, who is now the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Since then, Evans has had complications during his recovery, after his body rejected a cadaver ACL, which is similar to what happened to UFC bantamweight Dominick Cruz. Evans was forced to undergo a second ACL operation, which has kept him out of action for the past several months.
Bader is one of the hottest fighters in the light heavyweight division at the moment. The 32-year-old has won four fights in a row and has slowly been building his case for a title fight against Daniel Cormier. In fact, many people believed that Bader’s next fight was going to be against DC after he confronted the new Light Heavyweight Champion at the UFC 187 post-fight press conference. The UFC ultimately decided to go with Cormier vs. Alexander Gustaffson, who is coming off of a loss to Cormier’s previous opponent, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.
Both Evans and Bader may expect a world title opportunity with their next win, as it would be Bader’s fifth win in a row if he defeats Evans, and it would be Evans’s third win in a row if he defeats Bader, and with Jon Jones — who has defeated both Bader and Evans in the past — being absent in the light heavyweight division for the foreseeable future, the division is wide open.
It remains to be seen if the UFC decides to book Evans vs. Bader for UFC 192, but with both guys wanting to fight each other, it’s an easy decision for the UFC, so, barring injury, the fight will likely take place at the event.
[Image via Scott Cunningham / Getty Images]