UFC 144 will see Ryan Bader take on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Frankie Edgar defends his title against Ben “Smooth” Henderson, and Cheick Kongo and Mark Hunt battle in the heavyweight class. The UFC will be broadcasting parts of the event online, but for the big fights you’ll have to cough up $45.
The UFC will travel to the “land of the rising sun” for the first time in more than a decade for the fights on Saturday night. The Henderson vs. Edgar fight is the main event at the Saitama Arena in Tokyo, but plenty of people will be tuning in to see the co-main event of Bader vs. Jackson.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Bader has been in Japan since Monday to get acclimated to the time change. Bader has fought all over the world and says that he’s not worried about too much about the time change. Bader said:
“Once you’re in the arena, and you’re being prepared, you’re not thinking about anything else, so it doesn’t matter what time of day it is.”
Bader said that the big difference about fighting in Japan is the audience. The Japan crowd will stay quiet throughout the fight, which is a big change of pace compared to the loud American crowds. Bader said:
“It will be weird on TV, you’ll be able to hear everything.”
Bader, who won season eight of “The Ultimate Fighter,” will be going up against one of the most notorious fighter’s in UFC history. But to Bader, Rampage Jackson is just another guy.
“It’s a great opportunity. I grew up watching him and all those guys in PRIDE, but at the same time, he’s a name, just another guy. He’s not Rampage, he’s just another guy.”
Do you think Bader will be able to take down Jackson?
Here’s a preview for UFC 144.
The lightweight title fight at UFC 144 will see Ben Henderson attempt to take the title from Frankie Edgar. Fight News calls the Edgar – Henderson fight the best title fight of 2012.
Edgar has handed top fighters their first professional defeats. He’s landed 940 strikes in the UFC and has scored 35 career takedowns. If Edgar wins UFC 144 he’ll tie BJ Penn and jim Miller for most wins in the lightweight division at 10.
But Henderson could give him a fight. Fight News reports that Henderson is “officially the hardest man to submit in UFC history. Henderson has been put in 28 submission holds and he’s escaped every one. But Henderson isn’t all defense. The lightweight challenger has landed more hits on his opponents during everyone of his fights in the Octogan. His UFC strike ratio is 161-36 and he averages four take downs per fight.
You can watch some of the prelims live on the UFC Facebook page. You can watch a live stream of the fighter weigh-ins below (Bloody Elbow reports that the weigh-ins will start at 11 p.m. EST) or you can buy a ticket to the fight here.