Fortunately for the rest of us, two of the UFC light heavyweight division’s more stagnated contenders recognize the one fight that makes most sense for both of them.
Ranked atop the 205-pound division, but only one fight removed from a one-sided loss to champion Daniel Cormier, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is interested in a matchup with the weight class’ third-ranked fighter, Ryan Bader, Johnson’s management team told MMAjunkie.
Bader’s won five straight since dropping a first-round KO loss to former title challenger Glover Teixeira in 2013. Since then, the Power MMA standout has taken out top fighters like Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis and former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. If not for a likely return from a currently suspended Jon Jones, Bader would likely be the one receiving the next crack at Cormier’s title. If Jones does come back, Bader will likely need to take another fight before crowning himself the top contender.
If “Rumble” has his way, he’ll be the one to get the title shot after Jones. Johnson’s only a month removed from his most recent victory at 205 pounds — a second-round knockout against fellow slugger Jimi Manuwa at UFC 191. Save for his loss to Cormier at UFC 187, Johnson has looked unstoppable since his UFC return, defeating Alexander Gustafsson, Phil Davis and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.