As first reported by MMAWeekly.com over the weekend, a light heavyweight bout between Jon Jones and Ryan Bader was offered and accepted for early 2011. The fight has since been confirmed for Super Bowl weekend with the event likely to take place on Feb. 5.
The news was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the match-up on Monday. Both fighters had already verbally agreed to the contest, but with a date set, bout agreements will be issued and signed shortly.
Thought of as two of the top contenders in the 205-pound weight class, Jones and Bader appeared on a collision course after the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner got past Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in his last fight at UFC 119 in September.
Bader had stated when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio after his win at UFC 119 that he was getting married at the end of October, and had planned a honeymoon and some much needed time off that would likely push his next fight past a New Year’s Day date.
It looks like Bader got his wish, and will face Jones as part of the Super Bowl weekend card in early February with the two light heavyweights likely squaring off as a co-main event for the show. Current plans are to have UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva face Vitor Belfort as the main event for the show, although no official announcement has been made.