Manager: Ryan Bader hoping to fight Phil Davis early next year

Ryan Bader (left) is very interested in a fight with Phil Davis early next year.    

There was one logical fight for Phil Davis after this weekend and his potential future opponents thinks so, too.

Ryan Bader is intrigued by a bout against Davis and likes the matchup "very much," his manager Dave Martin told UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani. Davis is coming off a dominant victory over Glover Teixeira at UFC 179 on Saturday. He is ranked No. 5 among UFC light heavyweight contenders and Bader is No. 8.

Bader (18-4) and his wife just had a baby, but he is hoping to return to the Octagon in early 2015. That means he won’t be available for the UFC Fight Night on FOX card Dec. 13 in his home state of Arizona. But it also means he lines up fairly well with Davis.

Davis (13-2, 1 NC) hurt his hand against Teixeira and is getting it checked out Thursday, he told Helwani on Tuesday. He is unsure if it is broken or seriously injured.

If he’s good to go, that would be an important fight in the light heavyweight division next year. Davis has won four of his last five bouts, while Bader has won three straight. Both are on a roll and are former college wrestling All-Americans.

Bader, 31, beat Ovince Saint Preux in August to set himself up for what could be a title eliminator next. But Daniel Cormier is first in line for a shot at champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson would be next up — assuming he defeats Rashad Evans in a bout targeted for January in Sweden.

The winner of a potential bout between Davis and Bader would be third in line, which isn’t a bad place to be considering the glut of injuries recently.