UFC President Dana White has announced a light heavyweight match-up between former champion “Suga” Rashad Evans (19-3-1) and current number three ranked Ryan Bader (19-4). The two will face off at UFC 192 on Oct. 3 from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
White broke the news Wednesday night on UFC Tonight.
Evans hasn’t fought since Nov. 2013 when he scored a first round TKO over Chael Sonnen at UFC 167. A leg injury and subsequent surgery has kept Evans on the shelf.
Five months prior to the Sonnen fight, Evans had won a split decision over Dan Henderson at UFC 161 and now comes into the fight with Bader riding back-to-back wins. “Suga” currently holds the number five spot among UFC light heavyweights.
Bader is probably closer to a title shot now than he has ever been in his career. An impressive win over Evans could put him next in line.
The 32-year-old former Arizona State University wrestler comes into the bout having won his last four in a row, most recently getting the split decision nod against Phil Davis back in January. In his fight prior to that Bader had won a unanimous decision over Ovince Saint Preux last August.
Will the injury-prone Evans be able to stay healthy until October and how will he deal with the ring rust? Will Bader be able to out-wrestle Evans and grind out another decision win or will the hard hitting Evans eventually find Bader’s chin?