Gabe Ruediger was hoping to fight a Brit for his next fight in the UFC, but it won’t be the Englishman he was originally gunning for. Ruediger has instead drawn Paul Taylor in a lightweight fight set for UFC 126 on Feb. 5, 2011, in Las Vegas.
The contest was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight on Monday, with bout agreements issued for the February showdown.
Ruediger was originally set to return to action at UFC 123 in Detroit, but an injury forced him off the card, and he never got a chance to face British fighter Paul Kelly. The two had engaged in a war of words prior to the fight, and Ruediger had expressed his desire to face Kelly when healthy again.
Kelly went on to win in his fight against T.J. O’Brien, but the two lightweights will have to wait to settle the score for another day. Ruediger will now face another tough British opponent in the very heavy handed Paul Taylor.
Known for his ever exciting style, Paul Taylor may look at UFC 126 as a must win after back-to-back losses in his last two fights. Dropping both by decision, Taylor looks to keep his UFC career alive when he faces Ruediger in February.
The bout between Ruediger and Taylor is expected to be part of the untelevised preliminary portion of the event. More fights are expected to be announced for the UFC 126 fight card in the coming weeks.
(UPDATED – 3:15 p.m. PT on Nov. 29: Bout was initially reported for UFC 127, but has been corrected to UFC 126.)