Rampage Jackson vs. Thiago Silva on tap for UFC 130

Rampage JacksonThe road back to the UFC light heavyweight championship could get a lot bumpier for Quinton Rampage Jackson. Several MMA websites report that the UFC has targeted Rampage Jackson vs. Thiago Silva for UFC 130. The winner of this fight would likely earn themselves an immediate title shot.

The light heavyweight showdownt has been verbally agreed upon by all parties according to MMA The report says that fight will take place at UFC 130 on Memorial Day weekend. MMA writer Dave Meltzer reports that this may not be the main-event as a UFC title match is scheduled to be added to the card at either lightweight or featherweight. I blogged last week that I though Gray Maynard vs. Frankie Edgar 3 would likely fall at UFC 130 so don’t be surprised if that is what is what you get.

Rampage is coming off his first win since 2009, beating former UFC champion Lyoto Machida via decision at UFC 123. Jackson lost his previous fight, a grudge match with current number one contender Rashad Evans. Since entering the UFC from Pride FC, Rampage has gone 6-2 which includes winning the UFC light heavyweight title from Chuck Liddell via KO and a unanimous decision to unify the belts with former Pride FC light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson.

Thiago Silva is coming off one of the most dominant wins of his career, beating Brandon Vera via unanimous decision at UFC 125. Silva sat out a year following his loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 108 with a back injury. Silva put on one of the most perplexing performances of the last decade in that fight. Silva had Evans rocked several times and looked moments away from a win but backed off and opted to mock Evans rather than charge in for the finish. The questionable antics wound up coming back to haunt Silva who lost the fight on a unanimous decision and a lot of respect from the MMA community.

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On paper this is a very dangerous fight for Rampage Jackson to take, but we all said the same thing about his fight with Lyoto Machida. Silva looked like a machine against Vera and is one of the heaviest hitters in the division. 11 of his 17 wins have come by knockout or TKO. Silva was so dominant in his last fight against Vera that he was spanking Vera in the middle of the fight and slapping him in mocking fashion. If Thiago Silva never backed off Rashad Evans to play around, chances are good he would be light heavyweight champion today.

However, as great as Thiago Silva looked he doesn’t have any wins over top-five competition and his only losses came in his two elite matchups. Also, as good as Silva has looked on his feet in the past he was rocked hard by Vera anytime the two fighters stood up. I would dare say that Rampage is a much better striker than Vera so my thought is that if the two stand up, Jackson has an advantage. Jackson hasn’t knocked anyone out since 2008 but the power is still there.

Rampage is also one of the best hype men in MMA. Jackson is going to talk and should get under the skin of the Silva. Silva is easily frustrated and for some reason gets into this mode where he thinks he is Anderson Silva and starts to clown around when he gets an advantage over his opponent. It lost him the fight against Rashad Evans and almost got him knocked out by Brandon Vera. If there is anyone that can get into the head of another fighter it is Rampage Jackson. So the big question here is not only will Thiago Silva be able to hold off Rampage Jackson from beating him, but will Thiago Silva be able to hold off Thiago Silva from beating himself.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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