source: Damon Martin | mmaweekly.com
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson gets his wish after all.
The former light heavyweight champion will travel to Japan for UFC 144 and face former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Ryan Bader.
Sources confirmed the fight to MMAWeekly.com and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta later confirmed the fight to ESPN.com.
For months, former light heavyweight champion Rampage has been lobbying to fight in Japan, a country he spent several years competing in while under the Pride Fighting Championships banner.
Jackson shot to stardom during his time with Pride, having some of his best performances there with wins over fighters like Chuck Liddell and Ricardo Arona.
Now, Jackson returns to Japan for the first time since 2006 when he defeated Dong Sik Yoon by unanimous decision at Pride 31.
Facing Jackson at UFC 144 will be former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Ryan Bader, who got back on the winning track in his last fight after suffering a two fight skid.
Bader made quick work of Jason Brilz at UFC 139, knocking out the Nebraska native early in the first round. He has a new head coach in New Mexico based trainer Tom Vaughn, and has stated that he will continue to evolve as he progresses in his UFC career.
Now he gets another major test against a former light heavyweight champion.
Jackson vs. Bader is expected to be a marquee fight on the UFC 144 fight card in Japan, but no formal announcement from the UFC has come about the placement for the bout on the show.
Currently the lightweight title fight between Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson headlines the card taking place on Feb. 26 at Saitama Super Arena in Japan.