After initially reported some weeks ago on UFC Tonight, UFC officials have now confirmed that Ryan Bader and Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante have finalised a deal to square off on June 14 at UFC 174 at Rogers Centre in Vancouver, Canada. The bout will likely serve on the main card portion of the pay-per-view and joins a bundle of interesting fights on the card headlined by a UFC flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and Ali Bagautinov.
Both fighters rebounded from disappointing losses in emphatic fashion in late 2013, which earned each fighter a place in the official UFC rankings at light heavyweight. Ryan Bader is currently ranked #9 in the division, with Rafael ‘Feijao’ holding the #12 spot.
Bader suffered a submission loss against Glover Teixeira, who will fight for the UFC light heavyweight title on Saturday, in a competitive and entertaining one round affair in September. However he made an impressive return with a dominant display against Australian fan favourite Anthony Perosh in December, brutalising the 41 year old with a serious of shots and showing his world class wrestling pedigree. The performance opened the eyes of many, and earned Bader a spot in the top 10 of the division.
Feijao, however, had a mixed time during the 2012-13 period. After a dominant win over Mike Kyle in May 2012 was overturned due to a failed drug test and asubsequent suspension was handed to the former Strikeforce champion, he made his long awaited UFC debut last June only to add to his misfortune. After finding some success on the feet early on in the fight, Feijao suffered cardio issues and was outworked by his opponent, Thiago Silva, who mocked the 33 year old before defeating him via first round TKO. Cavalcante made his second Octagon appearance in November, brutalising the Croatian Igor Pokrajac and defeating the veteran via first round TKO, in a performance in which Feijao showed the form that initially made UFC fans excited to see him put pen to paper on a deal with the promotion.