Rampage Jackson vs. Ryan Bader booked for Japan
The PRIDE legend gets his wish.
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According to UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta via ESPN.com MMA, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will get his wish--a fight in Japan at UFC 144.
Fertitta confirmed that Jackson will take on former Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader, who just made quick work of Jason Brilz at UFC 139 last weekend. Jackson had been rumored to take on Rashad Evans on the next UFC on FOX show, taking place in Chicago.
When he was not originally booked for UFC 144, the former light heavyweight champion went off on his Twitter. Looks like that worked out well.
A win over Bader won't get Jackson a rematch with Jon Jones, given how one-sided their UFC 135 affair was, but should Jones be upset by Lyoto Machida, that's another story. Machida and Jackson fought to a controversial split decision last year at UFC 123, with Jackson getting the win. Should Jackson beat Bader and Machida beat Jones, a rematch with the title on the line would certainly be warranted. Likewise, if Bader wins, his stock will rise greatly, but after getting destroyed by Jones just this past February, a rematch would probably not be in his near future. If Machida beats Jones, like Jackson's scenario should he win, Bader could put himself in Dana White's "mix."
We'll see how UFC 140 works out for Machida before we jump to conclusions.
Current/Rumored UFC 144 card (not all bouts confirmed by UFC.com as of press time:
February 26, 2011 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan
UFC Lightweight Championship: Frankie Edgar (C) vs. Ben Henderson
Light Heavyweight bout: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Ryan Bader
Middleweight bout: Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch
Welterweight bout: Jake Shields vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Lightweight bout: Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon
Featherweight bout: Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski
Heavyweight bout: Cheick Kongo vs. Mark Hunt
Bantamweight bout: Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso
Light Heavyweight bout: Steve Cantwell (Yes, after four straight losses) vs. Riki Fukuda