Op 25 februari organiseert de UFC na ruim elf jaar weer een evenement in Japan. Het laatste UFC-evenement in Japan, UFC 29, vond plaats op 16 december 2000.

Edgar vs Henderson

Het evenement vindt plaats in de Saitama Super Arena in Saitama. De 30-jarige Frankie Edgar verdedigt zijn UFC Lightweight Championship titel tegen de 28-jarige Ben Henderson.

Bader vs Jackson

“You fight a guy like Jon Jones, you really don’t know what he’s going to bring,” he said. “It’s hard to bring somebody in and have somebody replicate that. But fighting ‘Rampage,’ you know what he’s trying to do. He’s trying to walk you down, use head movement, and throw those big bombs on you. He does have some elbows and knees, but watching his fights, you pretty much know what he’s going to do. But we’ll be ready for whatever. Maybe he changed some things up for the Japanese crowd. It’s not ‘Rampage’ the guy I grew up watching,” verteld Bader. “It’s ‘Rampage’ the guy standing across the cage that I’ve got to go out there and beat.”

Onafhankelijke drugtest

De UFC huurt steeds vaker onafhankelijke bedrijven in voor drugstesten. Dit is bij UFC 144 ook het geval.

Het programma is als volgt:

Main card

Lightweight Championship bout: Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson
Light Heavyweight bout: Quinton Jackson vs. Ryan Bader
Welterweight bout: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields
Heavyweight bout: Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo
Lightweight bout: Takanori Gomi vs. Eiji Mitsuoka
Middleweight bout: Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch
Featherweight bout: Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski
Lightweight bout: Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon

Preliminary card (FX)

Bantamweight bout: Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Vaughan Lee
Middleweight bout: Riki Fukuda vs. Steve Cantwell
Bantamweight bout: Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso