According to an Aug. 16 report from FOX Sports, UFC light heavyweight contenders Ryan Bader and Ovince Saint Preux square off in the main event of the UFC Fight Night 47 card on Aug. 16 in Bangor, Maine. The clash between Bader and Saint Preux is essentially a bout to determine who is a legitimate top 10 contender in the UFC's 205-pound division.
Bader, 31, is a perennial contender at light heavyweight, but he already lost against most of the top guys in the division. At age 31, it's sink or swim as far as making a run at the title. Bader, currently ranked No. 8 at light heavyweight, has momentum on his side, as he is riding a two-fight win streak.
If he beats the fast-rising Saint Preux, he could easily find himself in a fight against a top five contender. After that, he would arguably be a title contender. That said, Bader could be just a few wins away from a UFC title shot, against Jon Jones or whoever the champion is next year.
The problem is that Bader already lost to Jones, along with many of the top five-ranked athletes at 205 pounds. Bader was defeated by Jones, Lyoto Machida, Glover Teixeira and even Tito Ortiz. The positive for him is that Machida now competes at middleweight, and Ortiz isn't part of the UFC.
It's unlikely that Bader will need to avenge losses to those men, but now he has a new wave of contenders to deal with. In the years ahead, Bader might find himself up against the likes of Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson, if he is to ever get another shot at Jones.
A loss to Saint Preux would solidify Bader's spot as a gatekeeper in the UFC's light heavyweight division. As for Saint Preux, the 31-year-old won four in a row under the UFC banner. However, he's not well-known because most of his wins were against athletes that aren't household names.
If Saint Preux is able to slip past Bader, it will be the biggest win of his UFC career. Elsewhere on the UFC Fight Night 47 card, Gray Maynard takes on Ross Pearson at lightweight. Maynard vs. Pearson might just be a 'win or go home' match for the former, as he lost three of his last four.
Maynard, at the tender age of 35, might not have much left in the tank as far as MMA fighting goes. If Pearson beats Maynard, it might spell the end of the 35-year-old's UFC career. As for Pearson, he looks to get back in the win column, following a controversial defeat at the hands of Diego Sanchez.
The UFC Fight Night 47 main card also features a middleweight bout pitting Tim Boetsch against Brad Tavares, plus a welterweight collision between Seth Baczynski and Alan Jouban. Shawn Jordan fights Jack May at heavyweight, and Thiago Tavares battles Robbie Peralta at featherweight. UFC Fight Night 47 airs at 10 p.m. on Fox Sports 1, following prelims on Fox Sports 2.