Ryan Bader felt like he had done more than enough to warrant a shot at UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier next.
Instead, UFC officials tabbed Alexander Gustafsson for Cormier and gave “Darth” Rashad Evans. Both fights are scheduled to be part of the UFC 192 lineup from Houston.
Bader, a former Ultimate Fighter winner who has won four in a row since a 2013 loss to Glover Teixeira, is ready to deliver vs. Evans. “Suga” marks the fourth former UFC champion Bader will have fought since 2011.
“I go out there and look impressive, there’s nobody else that deserves (the next title shot),” said Bader, during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “At the end of the day my goal is the belt. I’m happy to fight whoever wins that fight.”
First up for Bader will be Evans, who hasn’t fought for over a year due to an extensive knee injury. He was actually scheduled to meet Cormier before going down with the injury.
“Honestly, I’m surprised if he shows up,” Bader said. “If you’re not training for two years your body isn’t used to that, the rigors of a training camp and what you have to put it through to be in peak physical condition.
“You can skate by and do just enough and show up to the fight pretty much unprepared, but you made it. We’ll see how that happens. Two ACL surgeries in a row is no joke, especially at his age.”