While we all know that Anthony Johnson has locked up a fight with UFC light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones, it remains to be seen what’s in store for the rest of the division’s top contenders. Well, according to Ryan Bader, he believes a “little tournament” involving the promotion’s top 205’ers is in the works.
Recently Dana White revealed that Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier won’t fight each other next, as many believed /hoped would be the case. White said the promotion has other bouts planned for the #2 and #3 ranked light-heavyweights respectively, but nothing’s been announced.
The #5 positioned Bader recently spoke with MMA Junkie.com, and here’s what he thinks could be in store for himself, Cormier, Gustafsson and the #4 ranked, Rashad Evans.
“It’ll be a little tournament right there is what I’m thinking,” Bader said. “It’s got to be one of those three then the other guy fights the other guy out of that. You never know what they’re going to do, but I assume that’s what’s going to happen. I’m just not sure which individual I’m actually going to fight.”
“They all pose different threats and they’re all good at different things,” Bader said. “Rashad’s a very good, overall well-rounded fighter. ‘DC’ is a beast in the wrestling department. Gustafsson is a very polished fighter. They’re all tough as nails and they’re all going to be in the fight.”
This certainly could be the case, especially when you consider that other contenders like Ovince St. Preux and Jimi Manuwa are booked for fights, and that Phil Davis is coming off a loss to Bader. Glover Teixeira was scheduled to fight Evans later this month, but he had to pull out due to injury.
Of course, the UFC has been known to throw match-making, curve balls in the past, but any of those possible match-ups sound good. Bader-Gustafsson and Cormier-Evans? Or Evans-Gustafsson and Cormier-Bader?
Jones-Johnson, meanwhile, is expected to take place in May.