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Rashad Evans targets September return, wants fight with Ryan Bader

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Esther Lin

Ryan Bader is in high demand these days.

New UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier wanted to rumble with The Ultimate Fighter 8 winner, especially after the UFC 187 post-fight press conference, but he will likely get Alexander Gustafsson next.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans might get that chance now.

The 35-year-old Evans expects to return from knee surgery in September, and he thinks Bader would be the right foe for his return. According to's Ariel Helwani on Wednesday night's edition of UFC Tonight, Evans believes a bout with Bader would be the fight which "puts him right back in the mix" in the new 205-pound landscape.

Evans (19-3-1) has won his past two fights, but hasn't appeared since his first-round TKO of Chael Sonnen at UFC 167 in Nov. 2103.

Bader, meanwhile has won four straight fights. He was originally scheduled to meet Cormier on Saturday in New Orleans, but he was pulled from the card when Cormier was named to replace Jon Jones against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187.