Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader Official for UFC 126
The long-rumored bout between light-heavyweight prospects Ryan Bader (12-0) and Jon Jones (11-1) has now been officially confirmed by the UFC.
The bout was confirmed on this week's edition of "The Ultimate Insider." It will be a part of the evening's main card.
There had been some concern that the fight may not take place, especially after Dana White came out at the UFC Fan Expo in London earlier this month and claimed that the bout was "in jeopardy."
It turned out it was just a matter of the contracts having not yet been signed. As Jones stated at the fan expo, "I've been really busy, so I haven't gotten a chance to sign my contract yet."
Bader is entering the fight with a perfect record and a five-fight winning streak in the UFC, and is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 119 in September.
Jones enters the fight off a quick victory over Vladimir Matyushenko in the main event at the UFC On Versus show in August. Jones has a single blemish on his resume- a disqualification loss to Matt Hammil in December 2009 in a fight that Jones dominated.
It is expected that the winner of this fight could be one fight or less away from a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight currently held by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, who is expected to defend the title next against Rashad Evans in the spring or summer.
UFC officials have also confirmed that UFC 126 will take place on Feb. 5, 2011 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
UFC 126 is expected to feature a headline bout of Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort for the UFC Middleweight Championship, and a potential light-heavyweight contest between former UFC Champions Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin.