(Video courtesy of YouTube.com/UFC)
This weekend, the UFC returns to Japan with a lightweight title fight, the homecoming of a gaijin PRIDE legend, and a whole lot of local talent. In the main event, Frankie Edgar follows up his astounding comeback win over Gray Maynard at UFC 136 with his latest title defense against former WEC champ Ben Henderson, whose rebirth in the UFC has included decision wins over top-ranked lightweights Jim Miller and Clay Guida.
Plus, Rampage Jackson looks to put on another great show for his Japanese fans against Ryan Bader, despite the fact that the Japanese used to poison his food. Meanwhile, a loss to Rampage would put Bader in a position where “his entire mixed martial arts career is in jeopardy,” according to Joe Rogan, who might be exaggerating a little bit.
UFC 144 will feature seven fights on the main pay-per-view card, following a four-fight prelims broadcast on FX. The full lineup is after the jump in case you need it; be sure to come back to CagePotato.com on Saturday evening for our play-by-play coverage of the whole shebang.
PPV Main Card
Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson [for UFC lightweight championship]
Quinton Jackson vs. Ryan Bader [LHW]
Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo [HW]
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields [WW]
Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch [MW]
Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski [FW]
Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon [LW]
FX Preliminary Card
Takanori Gomi vs. Eiji Mitsuoka [LW]
Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Vaughan Lee [BW]
Riki Fukuda vs. Steve Cantwell [MW]
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso [BW]
Zhang Tiequan vs. Issei Tamura [FW]