Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will be returning to his old Pride roots as he faces Ryan “Darth” Bader at UFC 144 in Saitama, Japan.
In a recent Twitter post by Rampage, he said “It don’t look like I’m fighting [in] Japan which I’m not happy about at all…I think it’s a big mistake by the UFC… F*** it.”
UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta responded to Rampage’s comment, telling ESPN.com that the UFC has officially granted the former Champion his request to fight in Japan. Rampage (32-9), fought in Pride FC for most of 2001-2006. At first he wanted to face Mauricio Shogun in a much anticipated revenge fight, but the Brazilian will be unavailable after losing a war to Dan Henderson earlier this month at UFC 139.
Bader (13-2) has agreed to step in to face Rampage after his first round KO win against Jason Brilz at UFC 139. Prior to his victory over Brilz, Bader suffered 2 consecutive losses earlier this year to Jon ‘Bones’ Jones and Tito Ortiz. However, he is still a major threat in the light heavyweight division with huge UFC wins over Eric Schafer, Keith Jardine and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
UFC 144 will be the promotion’s second event in Japan since UFC 29 in December 2000. This fight card is scheduled to take place on February 26, 2012 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The main event will headline a UFC lightweight title bout between current Champ Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson.