Light heavyweight contenders, Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader, are set to collide in the five-round main event of UFC on FOX 18 in January. The matchup was reported on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight.
Johnson (20-5) rebounded from his May title loss to Daniel Cormier in September with a 2nd-round TKO victory over Jimi Manuwa. Prior to his bout with DC, which was for the vacant light heavyweight strap, he picked up three consecutive wins in the UFC over Alexander Gustafsson, Phil Davis, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Bader (20-4) is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, and most recently defeated former titleholder Rashad Evans by unanimous decision at UFC 192 in October. Over the past two years, "Darth" has also picked up wins over Davis, Ovince Saint Preux and Rafael Cavalcante.
Also announced for the "big FOX" card is a welterweight matchup between former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine and Jake Ellenberger.
Saffiedine (15-4) has been out of action since October 2014, when he was stopped by former title challenger Rory MacDonald in a UFC Fight Night main event in Halifax, Canada. Prior to that, in early 2014, Sponge made his Octagon debut in Singapore against Hyun Gyu Lim and picked up a unanimous decision win in their five-round headliner. The Ellenberger bout was originally booked as the Singapore main event before "The Juggernaut" pulled out with an injury, and then Saffiedine did the same when it was rescheduled for UFC 172.
Ellenberger (30-10) has gone 1-4 in his last five outings, with a lone victory coming against Josh Koscheck earlier this year, via submission. In his most recent outing, he was stopped by Stephen Thompson via TKO in the 1st round.
Also announced for UFC on FOX 18:
- Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Joaquim Silva
- Alexander Yakovlev vs. George Sullivan
- Tony Martin vs. Felipe Olivieri