It looks like the UFC has a new number one contender’s matchup.

On Wednesday afternoon, UFC President Dana White announced the light heavyweight contest between former two-time Division I All-American wrestler Ryan Bader and former UFC champion Rashad Evans had officially been booked for UFC 192 in Houston, Texas.

Evans (19-3-1), winner of season two of The Ultimate Fighter, has not stepped foot inside the Octagon since his first round TKO victory over Chael Sonnen at UFC 167 in November 2013. Prior to this win, ‘Suga’ earned a close split decision over former Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson in the main event of UFC 161 in June 2013.

This victory snapped Evans’ two fight losing streak, which included a decision loss to Jones in their main event title fight at UFC 145 in April 2012. He was originally scheduled to meet current UFC champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 170 before a knee injury forced him out 10 days before the bout.

Bader (19-4), winner of season eight of The Ultimate Figher, will be looking pick up his fifth straight win inside the octagon and sixth in his last seven bouts. In his most recent outing, Power MMA product earned a close split decision over fellow collegiate wrestling standout Phil Davis at UFC on FOX 14 in January.

‘Darth’ was scheduled to face Cormier in the main event of UFC Fight Night 68 in New Orleans before Cormier was eventually pulled in to replace former champion Jon Jones against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187, forcing Bader off the card all together.

The two would eventually come face-to-face in a heated exchange following Cormier’s submission win over Johnson leading to speculation the UFC would re-book their contest as Cormier’s first title defense.  However the UFC would go on to mathcup Cormier against former title contender Alexander Gustafsson, leaving Bader with no dance partner.

UFC 192 is currently scheduled to take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. While it is not official, the UFC title fight between Cormier and Gustafsson has been rumored for the headlining act.

About The Author

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José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.