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Ryan Bader vs. Carmelo Marrero expected for UFN 18 on April 1

Season eight light heavyweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter Ryan Bader is scheduled to make his formal UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 18 on April 1 against the returning Carmelo Marrero. was informed of the matchup from a source close to one of the fighters.

Bader won his TUF 8 crown following a first round TKO over Vinicius Magalhaes during the show’s live finale last month. A former All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, Bader is 8-0 in his career with seven of his eight victories having ended inside the distance.

He’ll be facing another former amateur wrestler in Marrero, who is returning to the UFC after being released from the organization in May of 2007. Marrero, 10-2, last competed in November at WEC 36, where he recorded a split decision victory over Steve Steinbeiss. He was transferred over to the UFC after the WEC closed both its middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.

Marrero might be best known for his upset victory over Cheick Kongo at UFC 64. However, he was released from his contract after experiencing back-to-back losses to Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 66 and Wilson Gouveia at UFC 71.

UFN 18 will take place in Nashville, Tenn. and the two-hour live telecast on Spike TV will precede the season premiere for the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter.

  • Austin says:

    Didn’t CB Dollaway already beat Marrero?
    Joe Silva, I am dissapoint. (Correct usage of incorrect grammar)

  • EJ says:

    No Marrero has only lost to Gouveia and Gonzaga who are both top contenders in their divisions, he is a very talented and I believe he’s going to beat Bader.

  • sven says:

    Two very similar fighters. But I think Bader will be the bigger and stronger of the two. Marrero is a pretty one dimesional fighter so going up against a bigger stronger wrestler is not good news for him.

  • Jordan says:

    i dont see how yall think marrero is gonna be tough to beat let alone beat bader……..bader should easily control the fight with his takedowns and ground and pound

  • Tony Fennen says:

    Marrero has fought against bigger guys, Kongo and Gonzaga are almost giants!

    This match could be a bit of a wrestling match but hopefully their mat skills cancel each other out and they decide to stand and bang.

    Bader has the momentum going into the fight but I feel Marrero will be very hungry after already being released once from the big show.

  • sven says:

    Yeah he’s fought bigger guys. Gonzaga destroyed him and and Kongo had zero wrestling ability at the time. Its not just about size. Its about Bader being bigger and the better wrestler.

  • flassassin says:

    Joe Silva making up for the criticism of his so-called “Tuf Treatment” of former winners. Escudero and Bader are fighting tougher opponents than any of the former winners in their first fights (or even first two fights)!

    I almost said three, but Mac Danzig definately had his hands full against Clay Guida in his 3rd fight.

  • Tyler says:

    I’m actually interested in this fight. This is the fight time I’ve thought that for a TUF winners debut since the 3rd season.

  • fisher says:

    with baders ground and pound i think bader will control the fight.


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