It appears that Quinton Jackson will get his wish after all.
Days after voicing his displeasure about being left off the UFC 144 card, “Rampage” will step into the Octagon against Ryan Bader in Japan on February 26 where he’ll return to his old stomping grounds at Saitama Super Arena.
News of the match-up was first reported by ESPN citing a discussion with UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.
Jackson, an seventeen-time PRIDE veteran and poster child for many of the their signature moments will fight in the Far East for the first time since 2006, when he meets Bader who is riding high after a quick and dominant victory over Jason Brilz at UFC 139. He will be entering his nineteenth pro fight in Japan and has won ten of his last thirteen contests. However, the 33-year old has rarely exhibited the explosive finishes he showcased in his early days in PRIDE. He has just one knockout victory in the last four years and may be hoping this second homecoming of sorts will bring out the “Old Rampage” as he has alluded to in the past.
Bader, on the other hand, couldn’t be doing much better on a personal level with his first child on the way and an opportunity to climb back into the division’s elite with a win in Japan.
UFC 144 will feature lightweight champion Frankie Edgar in headlining action against top contender Ben Henderson and also involve match-ups like Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis and Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields.