Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has got his wish. He will get a chance to fight again in Japan after being paired up with Ryan Bader for the UFC 144 event on February 26th.
Rampage asked Dana White if he could fight on the Japan card backstage after his failed title bid against Jon Jones back in September, with the country holding a special meaning for him given that he was once amongst the biggest stars of the PRIDE organization.
At the time White appeared to give the idea the thumbs up, but just a few days ago Rampage complained on Twitter that he had unexpectedly been taken off the card.
It appears that the UFC have since changed their minds again however, and while Rampage didn’t get his other wish to have a rematch with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, he’ll certainly has a tough fight on his hands with the heavy-handed Bader.
This time last year Bader was one of the 205lb division’s best up and coming young stars with a perfect 12-0 record including victories over Lil Nog and Keith Jardine, but back-to-back losses against Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz derailed his hype train.
A 77 second KO win over Jason Brilz last weekend allowed him to end the year on a high however, and if he can defeat Rampage in Japan then the 28 year-old will be right back in the thick of thick of the light-heavyweight mix.
This fight announcement rules out rumors that Rampage was set to star in January’s ‘UFC On FOX 2’ event. So far the UFC are remaining tight-lipped about who exactly will headline that card, although Dana White did inform FOX execs who they had chosen earlier in the week.
With Rampage now spoken for it would appear that the recent whispers that Chael Sonnen Vs Mark Munoz will front the FOX show could be true.