Bader wants rematch with Teixeira if title shot doesn’t happen

Ryan Bader (left) is stuck in purgatory while awaiting the return of Jon Jones.

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ryan Bader tacked on his fifth win in a row on Saturday night when he earned a unanimous decision over former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. But despite Bader’s impressive streak, he’s still stuck in no man’s land awaiting the return of former champion Jon Jones.

Bader has put together an impressive run lately with wins over several top-10 fighters — Evans standing as his biggest victory to date.

"I went out there and finally just felt like the fighter I know I can be," Bader said after the win over Evans. "I felt quick, felt fast with the jab, and hit him with some good shots. Rashad’s a veteran of the sport and you take somebody out like that, that’s what I need to make it five wins in a row with a name like that as a bookend."

As good as it feels to win five fights in a row and validate his standing as a top-five ranked fighter at 205-pounds, Bader is virtually locked in purgatory right now with Jones looming in the shadows just waiting to return.

Arguably, Bader already earned a shot at the title after winning four fights in a row but he certainly sealed the deal when he downed Evans at UFC 192.

The problem is Bader would be forced to sit behind Jones if he comes back as expected because the former champion never actually lost the belt. Jones was instead stripped after he was arrested on hit-and-run charges back in April.

"We’ll see where it goes from here," Bader said. "Obviously, I do want a title shot. We’ve got Jon Jones back in the picture so for me I’m going to control the things I can control and that’s the fight in front of me and that was Rashad. We’ll just see what happens."

Chances are Bader will have to take another fight while he’s waiting for news on Jones’ return to the Octagon because the moment he’s reinstated, the UFC will likely rush to put together a title fight with Daniel Cormier in 2016.

That leaves Bader as the odd man out at 205 pounds, but there are still challenges out there he wants to conquer if he can’t fight for the gold.

One bout in particular is a chance to avenge his last loss.

"Of course, I’m here to fight," Bader said. "If Jon Jones comes back, he’s fighting Cormier. I have some people on my mind I’d like to fight. I’d like to get my last loss back with Glover (Teixeira) if he gets through Pat (Cummins). That’s one fight I’d like to get back."

Bader lost to Teixeira in 2013 via first-round TKO in a fight where he stunned the Brazilian early with punches, but then got caught with a counter shot that put him down and out.

"Other than that, obviously I’d want a title shot, I want to fight Cormier," Bader said. "We’ll see what happens with the whole Jon Jones situation."