Well, it appears Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Pictured) will be granted his wish. Two days after expressing his displeasure in not being included in the UFC’s return to Japan, company co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed with ESPN.com on Thursday that Rampage will in fact face Ryan Bader in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Prior to making his Octagon debut in February of 2007, Rampage made his claim to mixed martial arts fame with his epic battles in the Orient. Of his 41 professional fights, 18 of them have taken place in Japan. Rampage was last seen getting submitted by light heavyweight champ Jon Jones at UFC 135 in September.
Speaking of tapping out to Jones, Bader was perfect through his first 11 scraps prior to colliding with Jones at UFC 126 this past February. He compounded the loss by crying uncle to Tito Ortiz in his next bout, but managed to right the ship by quickly disposing of Jason Brilz last Saturday at UFC 139.
Depending upon how the rest of the card rounds out, it’s likely the 205-pound affair will serve as the night’s co-main event.
UFC 144 takes place February 26th inside the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The show features a lightweight title tilt between champion Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson.
No word from the UFC on how the card will be made available for viewing.
Here are the athletes expected to appear in the extravaganza:
Steve Cantwell vs. Riki Fukuda
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso
Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski
Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch
Cheick Kongo vs. Mark Hunt
Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis
Jake Shields vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Ryan Bader
Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar (UFC Lightweight Champion)