It’s a rare occasion when two top prospects both work their way into contender status. It’s even rarer that the two young lions square off in a fight, but the UFC has decided to do just that as they will pit Jon “Bones” Jones against “Ultimate Fighter” season 8 champion Ryan Bader in early 2011.
The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the match-up stating the fighters have been offered and the potential bout is in the works. The date of the fight has yet to be determined, but Jones’ agent Malki Kawa commented that for their side regardless of who the opponent is, the New York native is hopeful for a Jan 1 return to the Octagon.
In sports there always those great moments when an athlete shows up and just about everybody understands how phenomenal their potential could be. Jon Jones (11-1) seems to be a perfect case scenario for that in MMA.
Coming from athletic roots, Jones has blown through the competition so far at 205lbs in the UFC, most recently putting on a clinic against former IFL and Affliction competitor Vladdy Matyushenko in August. UFC president Dana White hinted at Jones facing the winner of the September fight between Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ryan Bader, and it looks like the boss was a man of his word.
Looking to derail the Jon Jones express will be Ryan Bader (12-0); who is one of the few fighters seemingly able to match the 205lber notch for notch when it comes to talent and future commodity. Since his time on the “Ultimate Fighter”, Bader has gone 5-0 including the win over Vinny Magalhaes to give him the reality show title back in 2008.
In his last fight out, Bader controlled the action against current top ten ranked fighter Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, to get a unanimous decision win and poise the former Arizona State All-American in a fight against Jones, with future title implications likely on the line.
The only caveat to the Jones vs. Bader fight currently is the timing of when the bout will take place. Bader stated when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio last week that he will be getting married at the end of October, and would likely prefer to take a fight Super Bowl weekend if possible.
The bout will take place either Jan 1 during the New Year’s Day card, likely in a co-main event, or during the Super Bowl weekend card in early February with the fight gaining much the same status for that card as well.
MMAWeekly.com will have more information on the date of the bout when it has been determined in the coming days.