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'Rumble' Johnson wants Ryan Bader next, but Bader's weighing his options

Esther Lin photo

The potential return of Jon Jones has created a ripple effect on the light heavyweight division.

All involved seem to agree that Jones, who never lost the championship in the Octagon, has earned the right to step in and meet current titleholder Daniel Cormier in his return fight if he so chooses.

Until Jones' situation clears up, though -- his UFC suspension has yet to be lifted -- other top contenders are playing wait-and-see.

Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, for one, knows what he wants next. According to's Ariel Helwani on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight, Johnson's manager, Glenn Robinson, says that if Jones does return and get the title shot, then Johnson wants a fight with Ryan Bader (20-4).

But Bader's side isn't ready to commit. Bader just defeated Rashad Evans for his fifth straight win, and given Cormier just convincingly defeated Johnson in May to win the vacant title, Bader figures to be next in for a shot at DC's belt if there's a holdup in Jones' return.

When asked if they'd consider a fight with "Rumble" if a title shot doesn't pan out, Bader's manager, Dave Martin, was noncommittal, saying they'd cross that bridge if they get there.

Johnson (20-5), who had a nine-fight win streak snapped by Cormier at UFC 187, rebounded with a second-round knockout of Jimi Manuwa at UFC 191.

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