MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Evans vs. Bader Booked For UFC 192

Dan-Henderson Rashad Evans is set to return to the Octagon after a nearly two-year layoff. The former UFC light heavyweight champion and the winner of TUF 2 will take on Ryan Bader at UFC 192, which takes place October 3 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The bout is expected to serve as the co-main event of the evening, although the main event for this card has not yet been determined. It’s the first bout announced for UFC 192, although more matches for the card are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, including the next fight for Cain Velasquez, who has requested to fight in Houston. Evans hasn’t fought since UFC 167 when he TKOed Chael Sonnen in the first round. Prior to that, he defeated Dan Henderson by split decision at UFC 161. However, the fight with Sonnen took place in November 2013, so by the time Evans returns he will have missed 23 months of action. As for Bader, he has won four fights in a row and a win over Evans would likely earn him a UFC light heavyweight title shot. Bader was gunning for a matchup with UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, but the UFC decided to match up Cormier with Alexander Gustafsson instead, leaving Bader in need of an opponent, and after defeating Phil Davis and Ovince St-Preux in his last two outings, Bader is deserving of this opportunity to fight a former champ in Evans. If Evans is healthy, which he should be given the layoff, then this should be a very winnable fight for him. Evans is better everywhere in this fight. He’s the better wrestler, he’s the better striker, and he’s more proven inside the Octagon. Bader has looked great as of late, no doubt, but Evans is a different beast. If he’s healthy, focused, and motivated, he should be able to defeat Bader in impressive fashion, possibly even by TKO. Given the layoff, some bettors are likely to bet against Evans in this spot and while I understand it, I don’t really agree with it. I just Evans wins this fight, and I’m expecting him to be around a 3-to-1 favorite when the odds are released for this fight. It will be interesting to see which way the betting public takes the line, but if I had to guess Evans will stay a steady favorite until fight time, although like I said, I do imagine some bettors will take a stab on Bader as a dog. Either way, this should be a great fight, and the winner of it will likely fight for UFC gold in 2016.

Written by Adam Martin.

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