In the face of rumors predicting otherwise, UFC President Dana White recently confirmed during an appearance on Comcast Sportsnet’s Fight Fix that light heavyweight prospects Ryan Bader and Jon Jones will indeed be facing off and that they will meet on February 5th for UFC 126 (the annual Super Bowl show). Props to Fighters Only for the find.
“Yes, the fight will happen with Ryan Bader,” White said.
White has been endlessly approached concerning the rise of Jon Jones, who many are pegging as being the future of the UFC’s light heavyweight division. White certainly understands the hype surrounding the dynamic “Bones,” but isn’t ready to hand the 23-year old a title shot just yet; sticking to his guns that the young fighter needs to be brought up slowly and allowed time to develop.
“Jon Jones is obviously the talk of the industry right now,” said White. “I mean this guy, he’s the whole package. He’s a good-looking kid, he’s smart, he’s incredibly talented, he’s got the size, he’s got the strength.
“We’ve had lots of guys come up through the ranks, they look like they were going to be the next big thing, we’ll see if Jon Jones is going to be that guy…,” he continued. “He just broke into the top ten, he’s going to take on Ryan Bader, who just beat [Antonio Rogerio] Nogueira. If he gets through that fight then he’s going to fight nothing but the top five.”
UFC 125 will go down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones and Bader will carry with them into the bout respective records of 11-1 and 12-0 (though it should be noted that Jones’ only loss came via disqualification-illegal elbows against Matt Hamill in a fight that he was roundly dominating).