The former heavyweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter 2, Rashad Evans is all set to return to action with a fight against Ryan Bader on Oct. 3 at UFC 192.
Evans will step into the cage for the first time since his Nov. 2013 victory over Chael Sonnen to take on an in-form Bader, who is currently ranked third in the company’s light heavyweight standings.
UFC boss Dana White recently made the an announcement on FOX Sports 1’s “UFC Tonight noting that the former lightweight heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (19-3-1 MMA, 14-3-1 UFC) and Ryan Bader (19-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) have been booked for fall show.
Though Bader has obviously been disappointed over not receiving a shot at the heavyweight title, a win in his next fight would surely be enough to get him the next crack at the title.
Including a split decision win over Phil Davis at UFC on FOX 14, Bader has won 4 straight. Bader seemed to be next in the pecking order with Jon Jones being stripped of his title and Daniel Cormier winning the vacant belt in May. However, Alexander Gustafsson was chosen, and Bader will instead be fighting a former champion and not the reigning champ, BloodyElbow noted.
“The 35-year-old Evans is on the comeback trail after being sidelined by injury since November of 2013,” Thomas Gerbasi wrote on the UFC’s official website .
Before his layoff, “Suga” had won two straight over Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen, and he expects to pick up where he left off against former Ultimate Fighter winner Bader, who is showing the best form of his career in winning four straight, including victories over Ovince Saint Preux and Phil Davis,” Gerbasi noted.
With his record standing at 19-3-1, Evans seems to be all set to head into a challenging bout with Bader. Thanks to the wins over Dan Henderson and Sonnen, he has the momentum despite Jon Jones and Antonio Nogueira inflicting back-to-back defeats, the first one of which was for the tile, according to records on BleacherReport .
Rashad has battled knee injuries since stopping Sonnen, and was last seen in the Octagon back in Nov. 2013. He defeated Sonnen by 1st round TKO in the UFC 167 co-main event.
“Houston’s Toyota Center will be the site for one of the most important light heavyweight fights of the year, as former world champion Rashad Evans returns to the Octagon for the first time in nearly two years to face fellow 205-pound contender Ryan “Darth” Bader in a UFC 192 bout on Saturday, Oct. 3,” Gerbasi announced on the promotion’s official website.