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Morning Report: Anthony Johnson wants Ryan Bader, Alexander Gustafsson then Alistair Overeem

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

With UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones now facing Daniel Cormier in January, Anthony Johnson is already thinking ahead. UFC president Dana White claimed Johnson could be next for an odd man out Alexander Gustafsson, but 'Rumble' has other plans.

"Hopefully I'll be able to fight in late October or something like that if there are any fights open," Johnson told UFC.com."I was hoping I could fight Ryan Bader in late October and fight [Gustafsson] on the Jon Jones card. That's my idea.

"People finally want me to start calling people out, you know what I mean? I never did that before. But I've always wanted to fight Ryan Bader because I've always thought he was a tough fighter."

'Upset' with being left out of a UFC 182 title bout with Jones, Gustafsson resumed training on Monday following an operation on Aug. 5 to repair the torn meniscus in his right knee. Gustafsson claimed he could ready to fight Jones Jan. 3, perfect timing according to Johnson.

"It will be a good fight. Gus is taller than me, but I think we have the same amount of length of reach. So it'll be interesting," Johnson said. "Gus likes to move a lot and I like to stalk people and see what they have to offer. It will be a hell of fight. I definitely want to give the fans what they want to see.

"Hopefully we can make the Jones-Cormier fight, one of those fights where that whole card is like a preview of what the light heavyweights have to offer."

Johnson also wants a piece of the man responsible for the postponement of Jones' title defense. Calling Alistair Overeem a 'bully,' Johnson says he would love an opportunity to temporarily move to heavyweight.

"If Joe Silva called me up and offered me that fight, yeah, I'd take that and knock his head off," Johnson recently told Fighter's Only Magazine. "I would take that fight immediately, without hesitation. And that's not because I see my long term future at heavyweight either. Not really. But before I retire - which I don't plan on doing any time soon either - I do plan on fighting at heavyweight a couple of times.

"And, well, right now, Alistair Overeem is the right guy (laughs). I'd love to knock him out. And I'd do it with a big smile on my face too."

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MEDIA STEW

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Highlights from Cage Warriors 70.

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Dana White's post-fight scrum from UFC Fight Night: Maine.

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Long watches.

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TWEETS

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Get well soon.


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Mmm, business deal.

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Off to China.

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Indeed.

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Let the conspiracies fly.

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So many nightmare fuel tweets.

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Ebersole out?

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Nice.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Aug. 18 2014)

Mirsad Bektic out, Clay Collard vs. Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Dos Anjos

cancelled Ruslan Magomedov vs. Richard Odoms at UFC 177

Sheldon Westcott out, Shinsho Anzai vs. Alberto Mina at UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le

Valerie Letourneau out, Jessica Andrade vs. Larissa Pacheco at UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Arlovski 2

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