Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today announced a Light Heavyweight showdown between Ryan Bader vs. Vladimir Matyushenko that will bolster the UFC on FOX 6 fight card, which will take place at the United Center in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 26, 2013.
Bader will look to erase the memories of his most recent appearance on network television (if he has any, of course) after absorbing a fight-ending knockout punch that Lyoto Machida delivered at UFC on FOX 4 in Aug. 2012. Prior to the devastating defeat, "Darth" -- The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 8 winner -- had strung together back-to-back wins over Jason Brilz and Quinton Jackson.
And even before all that, he was a standout amateur wrestler at Arizona State University, which will likely come in handy against the "Janitor," a former Soviet national wrestling champion, Belarus national champion, European Championship medalist and two-time national junior college wrestling champion at Lassen College (via UFC.com).
Unfortunately for Matyushenko -- who has now fought 11 times under the UFC banner -- he has been unable to do much of anything lately as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon that occurred prior to his proposed fight with Matt Hamill at UFC 152 on Sept. 22, 2012
At first it appeared that the serious injury would keep him out longer than just four months, but here he is ready to return sooner than expected.
Matyushenko exited the promotion in 2003, but an impressive stint (9-1) outside the promotion, including a run as the inaugural International Fight League (IFL) Light Heavyweight champion, brought him back. The Belarusian has gone 4-2 in the Octagon since making his return in 2009, but is coming off a first round technical knockout loss at the hands of top prospect Alexander Gustafsson back at UFC 141 this past December.
UFC on FOX 6 will feature a Flyweight title fight between division champion, Demetrious Johnson, putting his 125-pound title on the line for the first time ever against John Dodson in the main event of the evening.
In other televised main card action, Quinton Jackson will look to go out on top against Glover Teixeira in a potentially explosive Light Heavyweight tile, while Lightweight contenders Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone will light each other up with a 155-pound title shot likely on the line.