Just in case three hours of UFC pay-per-view action was not enough, there will now be four hours of UFC pay-per-view action this Saturday Night. Headlining this card is a UFC Lightweight Title Fight as champion Frankie Edgar defends against Ben Henderson. Also, plenty of legendary PRIDE veterans round out the card from Quinton Jackson all the way to Mark Hunt.
Kicking off the action is a lightweight division fight as Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon (21-6-0) squares off with Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (14-2-0). Joe Lauzon enters the fight riding a two fight winning streak, including a huge upset over Melvin Guillard at UFC 136. Anthony Pettis was the final WEC Lightweight Champion and scored his first UFC victory over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 136. This fight could determine the next challenger to the UFC Lightweight Title and that fighter will be Anthony Pettis.
We move to the featherweight division for the next fight as Hatsu Hioki (25-4-0) competes against Bart “Bartimus” Palaszewski (36-14-0). Hatsu Hioki is currently undefeated in UFC competition after defeating George Roop at UFC 137 via a controversial split decision. Bart Palaszewski is also undefeated in UFC competition, having defeated Tyson Griffin at UFC 137 by knockout. This fight is a potential featherweight title eliminator and it will be Hatsu Hioki earning the possible title shot.
Middleweight fighters will be featured next as Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (14-4-0) stands across the octagon from Yushin “Thunder” Okami (26-6-0). Tim Boetsch has been undefeated in UFC competition since dropping to middleweight, defeating Kendall Grove and Nick Ring. Yushin Okami is coming off of a UFC Middleweight Title loss to Anderson Silva, which took place at UFC 134. Tim Boetsch has seemingly been unstoppable since dropping to middleweight and his winning streak will continue at UFC 144.
A pair of welterweights will step into the cage next as Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama (13-4-0) battles Jake Shields (26-6-0). Yoshihiro Akiyama enters the fight riding a three fight losing streak, with his last victory coming over Alan Belcher at UFC 100. Jake Shields enters the fight riding a two fight losing streak, which is the first such streak in his twelve year MMA career. This fight is essentially a battle two avoid the unemployment line and it will be Jake Shields being the one doing so.
Up next is a heavyweight division affair as Cheick Kongo (17-6-0) will be doing battle with Mark Hunt (7-7-0). Cheick Kongo enters the fight riding a three fight winning streak, most notably defeating Matt Mitrione at UFC 137. Mark Hunt has had a career resurgence in the UFC, pulling a huge upset over Ben Rothwell by decision at UFC 135. This fight will determine who becomes a top five fighter in the heavyweight division and it will be Mark Hunt out striking Cheick Kongo to victory.
The co-main event takes place in the light heavyweight division as Ryan “Darth” Bader (13-2-0) faces Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-9-0). Ryan Bader has won one of his last three in UFC competition, last defeating Jason Brilz by knockout at UFC 139. Quinton Jackson is coming off of a UFC Light Heavyweight Title loss to Jon Jones at UFC 135 and has not competed in Japan since PRIDE 31 in 2006. Many believe this is the retirement fight for Quinton Jackson, who will be victorious in his long awaited return to Japan.
Headlining this card is a UFC Lightweight Title Fight as champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (14-1-0) defends against Ben “Smooth” Henderson (15-2-0). Frankie Edgar will be making his fourth defense of the title here and it is the first time he hasn’t fought BJ Penn or Gray Maynard in a title defense. Ben Henderson has been undefeated in UFC competition, defeating Clay Guida at UFC On Fox I to earn the title opportunity. This fight is easily an early candidate for fight of the year, but it will be Frankie Edgar holding onto the title in the end.
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