Report: Jones vs. Bader Still On for Feb. 5


Ryan Bader file photo: Sherdog.com

A reported light heavyweight clash between two of the division's most promising prospects is still set to go down at UFC 126 on Feb. 5, this in spite of UFC President Dana White's comments at the UFC 120 Fan Expo on Friday.

Said White: “I don't know if [Jon] Jones is going to fight [Ryan] Bader. We tried to put that fight together, but Bader has some stuff going on. Jon Jones might be fighting somebody else. I don't know how that's going to go.”

A report filed by MMAfighting.com from London, however, has contradicted those statements. Reporter Ariel Helwani spoke with both Jones' agent Malki Kawa and UFC officials, and both sources have confirmed that the bout is still on for Superbowl weekend.

The bout was originally intended for UFC 125 on Jan.1, but Bader requested that the bout be pushed back to UFC 126, as the first date was too close to his upcoming wedding. This may be what White was referring to when he asserted that Bader “has some stuff going on.”

Bader is a former All-American wrestler at Arizona State University and is undefeated in his MMA career. In his last appearance in the Octagon, “Darth” earned a unanimous decision over Pride Fighting Championships veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The winner of “The Ultimate Fighter 8,” Bader is 5-0 since coming to the UFC.

Like Bader, Jones was also a collegiate wrestler, winning a junior college national title. The Jackson's Submission Fighting product has only lost once as a professional, and that singular defeat was a controversial one. “Bones” was disqualified in his 2009 matchup against Matt Hammill for throwing multiple downward elbows that were deemed illegal. Since that loss, Jones has won back-to-back fights, dominating Brandon Vera and Vladimir Matyushenko, respectively.

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