The co-main event will see the clash of two powerful light heavyweights with each fighter requiring a win to remain amongst the elite of the division, and the loser having a big mountain left to climb.
Jackson, who played B A Baracus in the movie the A-Team, is a former UFC champion and is without a doubt one of the biggest stars in the sport who many believe to be within the top three of the division.
His last fight was a loss to Jon Jones for the title back at UFC 135. After a long hard-fought battle it was clear that there was a real changing of the guard – the youngster was too technical for the seasoned veteran.
He dominated the fight before securing a rear choke in the fourth round, becoming the first man to finish ‘Rampage’ in the octagon.
Since the loss the 33-year-old’s goal is to put on a show for the fans, and what better way to showcase that then in Japan with a knockout win over Ryan Bader.
Jackson is a huge star in the country after he made his name in the pride fighting championship years ago which kick-started his mixed martial arts career.
It has been three years since he has knocked out any of his opponents and he would love nothing more than to add Bader to his list of victims.
Bader, who won season eight of the Ultimate Fighter, was undefeated for long spell before suffering at the hands of the current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones over a year ago – a loss that affected his confidence.
He was beaten by Tito Ortiz despite being a heavy favourite – a huge upset – and he did not look the same fighter as we had seen in the past.
Since then he is more focused and determined to get back to his very best and his knockout win over Jason Briltz sent a message to his opponents that he still poses a threat.
Bader is young with a huge future ahead of him and a win over ‘Rampage’ would be huge for his career.
Although stylistically they match up very well, Jackson will be highly motivated to be fighting back in front of the Japanese fans and he is expected to knock out his younger opponent.
However, if Bader can turn the fight into a technical battle rather than a brawl he could outscore Rampage and possibly pull off a unanimous victory.
Lightweight bout: Frankie Edgar v Benson Henderson
Lightweight bout: Anthony Pettis v Joe Lauzon
Featherweight bout: Hatsu Hioki v Bart Palaszewski
Middleweight bout: Yushin Okami v Tim Boetsch
Welterweight bout: Jake Shields v Yoshihiro Akiyama
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