Gabe Ruediger: Jeff Sherwood | Sherdog.com
Gabe Ruediger and Paul Taylor will each look to reverse their fortunes when they square off at UFC 126, scheduled for Feb. 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
According to MMAJunkie.com, the lightweights have verbally agreed to the match, though bout agreements have not been finalized. MMAWeekly.com was first to report the pairing on Monday.
Notorious for his stint on “The Ultimate Fighter 5,” Ruediger was rudely welcomed back into the Zuffa fold in August, when the Californian was trounced in a short-notice bout against Joe Lauzon at UFC 118. The first-round armbar submission brought a halt to “Godzilla’s” impressive six-fight win streak, which included wins over the likes of Lenny Lovato and Dominique Robinson under the Tachi Palace Fights banner. The 33-year-old holds an 0-2 record inside the UFC, having also lost to Melvin Guillard in 2006.
Meanwhile, the former welterweight Taylor will be attempting to halt a two-fight losing skid and secure his future with the UFC. Despite a crowd-pleasing style, the British slugger has never won back-to-back fights during his three-and-a-half year Octagon tenure and holds an overall UFC record of 3-5. Taylor most recently dropped a narrow split decision to Sam Stout at October’s UFC 121.
UFC 126 will be headlined by a middleweight title bout between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Vitor Belfort. Also confirmed for the card is a showdown between 205-pound prospects Ryan Bader and Jon Jones, as well as a bantamweight scrap between WEC veterans Miguel Torres and Antonio Banuelos.