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Quinton Jackson vs. Ryan Bader set for UFC 144 in Japan

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-9) will face TUF 8 winner Ryan “Darth” Bader (13-2) at UFC 144 on Feb. 26 in Saitama, Japan.

The event will mark the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first return to Japan in over a decade.

UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed the bout with ESPN.com on Thursday.

Jackson became a huge star in Japan during his years fighting for Pride  Fighting Championships from 2001-2006. He last fought in Japan in Feb. 2006 when he won a unanimous decision over Dong-Sik Yoon at Pride 31 at Saitama Super Arena, the same location that will host UFC 144.

Jackson fought twice in 2011, winning a unanimous decision over Matt Hamill at UFC 130 in May, then most recently, losing via fourth round submission to light heavyweight champ Jon Jones at UFC 135 in September.

Bader fought three times in 2011, dropping submission losses to Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz at UFC 126 and UFC 132, respectively, then most recently, scoring a first round knockout over Jason Brilz at UFC 139 earlier this month.

UFC 144 will feature a lightweight title bout between champion Frankie Edgar and no. 1 contender Ben Henderson in the main event. For the full UFC 144 line-up as it stands, see ProMMAnow.com’s Upcoming Events page.

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