The first event of big Fox for the new year is set for January 30th in Newark New Jersey since the UFC is still not allowed to fight in New York City. The even may also crown the next contender for the Light-Heavyweight division after Cormier and Jon Jones settle their budding rivalry in the Octagon again. The main event is set between Ryan Bader and Anthony Johnson.
Bader has been opining for a fight between him and whoever has the belt and after the streak he has been on, it is hard to deny him. Bader lost out on a title shot after he was knocked out by former number one contender Glover Teixeira in the first round in their fight in September of 2013 but since then Bader has won five straight fights. First, he worked his way up the ladder taking out Anthony Perosh and Rafael Cavalcante. Then he gave OSP his first loss in the Octagon, who had four straight wins at that point, took out the always tough Phil Davis, and rounded out his current win streak with a win over former champion Rashad Evans. Now, he takes on his toughest test to date with a fight against former title challenger Anthony Johnson.
Johnson was once a mid-level Welterweight, but a jump up to 205 has changed his fate. After fighting his way back to the Octagon with wins on the regional circuit, he took the Light-heavyweight division by storm. A stellar performance against Phil Davis lead to big matchups with Lil Nog and Alexander Gustafsson who he took out with huge knockouts. he was set to face Jon Jones but legal troubles made that fight not happen and he lost by submission to current champion Daniel Cormier. He rebounded with a huge knockout of Jimi Manuwa and now has a chance to avenge the loss to Cormier or earn his match with Jones back depending on who wins their fight, but he has to just beat Bader to get there. Those were not the only fights announced for the card.
Tarec Saffiedine from another extended layoff with a fight against Jake Ellenberger. It is possible with a loss either fighter could be dropped from the promotion. Undefeated Joaquim Silva takes on TUF runner up Olivier Mercier who has won three straight since losing his season of TUF. Alexander returns after his first win in the Octagon against George Sullivan who drops down to lightweight from 170. Lastly, Felipe Olivieri takes on Tony Martin as well.