UFC 144 Preview
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to one of the birthplaces of martial arts, and the former home of the infamous PRIDE Fighting Championship for UFC 144! Saitama Super Arena in Japan will be the site for one of the biggest and most stacked fight cards of the year!
The UFC has really outdone itself in its return to the Land of the Rising Sun, as UFC 144 will consist of a 7-fight main card rather than the usual 5-bout pay-per-view format we normally get. But not only did they decide to throw in two additional fights, there are also big-name matchups up and down the card.
Kicking off the PPV broadcast will be what could be considered a No.1 contender’s bout, as former WEC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis takes on dangerous fellow countryman, Joe Lauzon.
“Showtime” is coming off a victory over Jeremy Stephens while “J-Lau” is riding an impressive two-fight win streak with submission victories over Curt Warburton and his destruction of Melvin Guillard by RNC. This fight promises to set the bar for the rest of the evening’s action!
The fight that has captured the attention of the public is the co-main event between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who makes his return to Japan to face Ultimate Fighter winner, Ryan “Darth” Bader. If this matchup wasn’t getting enough attention before with Rampage being a huge PRIDE FC superstar, it is now.
In yesterday’s UFC 144 weigh-ins we discovered two things: 1. That these guys will not be fighting at 205, as Rampage showed up weighing 211 pounds, and that 2. Bader will have the opportunity to expose an injured Jackson Saturday night.
Jackson, who became a legend for his legendary slams and gutsy performances while fighting in Japan, blamed his inability to make weight because of injuries. You can bet that this is something Bader’s camp will be looking to adjust their gameplan to after last night’s weigh-ins.
Perhaps one of Darth’s strategies will be to take Rampage into deep water and try to gas him out considering his conditioning will likely be an issue tonight. It’s going to be interesting to see if Rampage tries to look for an early finish and knock Bader out as a counter-attack to that strategy.
Here’s the rest of the UFC 144 Fight Card (UFC 144 Main Card):
- Lightweight Championship bout: (USA) Frankie Edgar vs. (USA) Ben Henderson
- Light Heavyweight bout: (USA) Quinton Jackson vs. (USA) Ryan Bader
- Heavyweight bout: (New Zealand) Mark Hunt vs. (France) Cheick Kongo
- Welterweight bout: (Japan) Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. (USA) Jake Shields
- Middleweight bout: (Japan) Yushin Okami vs. (USA) Tim Boetsch
- Featherweight bout: (Japan) Hatsu Hioki vs. (Poland) Bart Palaszewski
- Lightweight bout: (USA) Anthony Pettis vs. (USA) Joe Lauzon
UFC 144 Preliminary Card:
- Lightweight bout: (Japan) Takanori Gomi vs. (Japan) Eiji Mitsuoka
- Bantamweight bout: (Japan) Norifumi Yamamoto vs. (England) Vaughan Lee
- Middleweight bout:(Japan) Riki Fukuda vs. (USA) Steve Cantwell
- Bantamweight bout: (Japan) Takeya Mizugaki vs. (USA) Chris Cariaso
- Featherweight bout: (China) Zhang Tiequan vs. (Japan) Issei Tamura