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Ryan Bader Returns at UFC 104 Against Eric Schafer; Leg Kick Apocalypse Also Rumored

(Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

According to Ryan Bader’s Twitter page, the TUF 8 light-heavyweight winner will return to action at UFC 104 (October 24th, Los Angeles) against "Eric Shaufer." (We’re assuming that means Eric Schafer, the UFC vet who’s coming off back-to-back first-round stoppages of Houston Alexander and Antonio Mendes.) If the announcement is accurate, it would be a surprisingly quick comeback for Bader, who wrecked his knee during his three-round domination of Carmelo Marrero in April; early predictions said he’d be out of action for up to a year. UFC 104 will be headlined by the light-heavyweight title fight between Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua, and may also feature the heavyweight contenders match between Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez.

In a related story, UFC 104 will reportedly host another fight that could result in at least one wrecked knee — leg kick specialists Pat Barry and Antoni Hardonk have agreed to face each other at the Los Angeles event, and bout agreements are expected to be signed shortly. It’s a must-win situation for both fighters, who took tough losses in their last outings; Barry was choked out by newcomer Tim Hague at UFC 98, and Hardonk got pasted by Cheick Kongo at UFC 97. Fun facts: Barry is a training partner of Eric Schafer (see above) at Roufusport, and Barry and Hardonk used to train together in Holland under kickboxing legend Ernesto Hoost. Get ready for the nastiest leg-kick battle since last year’s Lauzon Family Pig Roast.

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The Death Penalty- July 9, 2009 at 7:30 pm
When the Hardonk/Barry fight airs, if you keep quiet and listen really carefully, you'll be able to hear Kerry Schall scream.
Cookie Monster- July 9, 2009 at 11:36 am
Bare Grappler is right, bring on the MO!!!!
Just A Wrestler- July 9, 2009 at 8:43 am
The title made me think that they were going to ban leg kicks in the unified rules because of the amount of "unintentional" groin kicks. well phew. remember how many ball kicks were in ufc 98? i was blown away, almost every fight had them
Bare Grappler- July 9, 2009 at 7:46 am
It's easy to worry with the 205's top ten contenders in shambles that they will bring Bader along too quickly. Dana needs to sign Mo Lawal to help this weight class along.
Fucklord- July 9, 2009 at 7:45 am
Heavyweight is the best division because you don't know have to actually know how to fight MMA to get a contract with the highest level promotion
Sheps- July 9, 2009 at 7:36 am
I'm really having a hard time looking forward to any of Berry's fights now that he lost that big fat clumsy off balance Canadian dude.

Its like if Gonzaga had lost to that "Heavy" Hendricks dude...