The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir winner Ryan Bader started his UFC career with four straight wins and has been considered a light heavyweight threat ever since. Bader’s only losses have come to current champ Jon Jones, former champions Tito Ortiz and Lyoto Machida, and recent title challenger Glover Teixeira. The former NCAA Division I wrestler has been impressive in his last two outings, racking up a 123-19 striking advantage to go with 10 takedowns. Bonus Points: Ryan Bader finishes Matyushenko
Ovince Saint Preux is no stranger to athletics. Before he opened his fighting career with a first-round knockout of Chris Hawk, Saint Preux earned varsity letters in 2002 and 2004 while playing on the University of Tennessee football team. After two unsuccessful attempts to play professional football, Saint Preux put all of his energy into becoming a full-time fighter. It was a shaky start for the Hatian-American fighter as he amassed a 4-4 record, but after transitioning to Strikeforce, and then the UFC, Saint Preux has won 13 of his last 14 fights, with nine finishes during that stretch. He’ll try to crack the light heavyweight top 5 with a big win over Bader in Bangor. Bonus Points: OSP vs. Nikita Krylov
> Check out what Dana White had to say about Ryan Bader vs. Ovince Saint Preux in the Dana Download!
Despite a recent rough patch, Gray Maynard has established himself as one of the most gifted wrestlers in the UFC. Following an impressive showing on The Ultimate Fighter season 5, where he fell to Nate Diaz in the semifinals, Maynard reeled off eight straight wins in the Octagon. That stretch included wins over the likes of Dennis Siver, Jim Miller, Kenny Florian, and Frankie Edgar. The Phoenix native has his eyes on the lightweight belt, and hopes that a win over Ross Pearson propels him back into the top 15. Bonus Points: Gray Maynard vs. Joe Veres
Ryan Bader isn’t the only Ultimate Fighter winner on this card. He’s joined by The Ultimate Fighter: US vs. UK winner Ross Pearson, who stepped in for an injuried Abel Trujillo to face Gray Maynard. Pearson, a two-time Fight of the Night winner, will bring his unique skill set into the Octagon in Bangor on Saturday, looking for his third finish over his last five fights. Check out Pearson’s full arsenal of moves in his second Octagon appearance against Dennis Siver.
Tim Boetsch has 12 career finishes and is 5-3 since moving to middleweight back in 2011. Boetsch recorded a finish over Yushin Okami and put on impressive performances against CB Dollaway and Hector Lombard during that stretch. But “The Barbarian” really made a name for himself in his UFC debut against David Health at UFC 81. Boetsch more than quadrupled the output of Heath en route to In one of the most memorable fight endings in 2008.
Hawaii native Brad Tavares has posted a 6-2 record following an impressive stint on The Ultimate Fighter, where he fell in the semifinals against future UFC fighter Court McGee. Tavares’ first test outside the show was UFC veteran and two-time NJCAA wrestling All-American Phil Baroni at UFC 125. The former star high school linebacker, Tavares, needed just one round to finish Baroni and send a warning to the rest of the middleweight division. Watch: Tavares vs. Baroni