On Saturday, Feb. 25, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will showcase live from Japan for the first time. UFC 144’s main card is completely stacked with some of the organization’s best fighters, plus the lightweight title will be on the line. We say the new year is already off to a great start.
The main event for UFC 144 will be a lightweight title match between the current champion, Frankie Edgar, and top contender, Benson Henderson. This match has been highly anticipated by fight fans for some time now.
Edgar has defended his belt successfully three times, but Henderson could be the one to finally strip it away. A former WEC lightweight champ, Henderson has already gone 3-0 in the UFC. Both fighters are brown belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and solid wrestlers, so this fight could be a standing war.
As for the other fights, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had to do everything short of begging to get on the card. The former UFC light heavyweight champ is going to have to muster up some spirit from the old days to beat Ryan Bader. Coming off a strong first round victory over Jason Brilz, Bader is looking to get back into contention for the title. Both guys are strong competitors and always make a good showing, so this could wind up being the fight of the night.
Rounding out UFC 144 on the main card is a heavyweight bout between Cheick Kongo and Mark Hunt; a welterweight fight between former Strikeforce Champion Jake Shields and Japanese fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama; and, finally, the highly-touted match-up between former WEC Lightweight Champ Anthony Pettis and top contender Joe Lauzon.
Undercard for UFC 144
- Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch
- Takanori Gomi vs. George Sotiropoulos
- Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski
- Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Vaughan Lee
- Riki Fukuda vs. Steve Cantwell
- Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso
- Leonard Garcia vs. Tiequan Zhang
Fans can tune in UFC 144 via Pay-Per-View on Feb. 25 at 10 p.m. EST.