Rampage Jackson has been doing a lot of talking and a lot of complaining the last week. One complaint was that he wished the UFC would match him up with strikers. Well, the UFC is about to give him one of the best in the game.
Rampage Jackson vs. Mauricio Shogun Rua will feature a battle of former UFC light heavyweight champions and Pride Fighting Championship icons. The fight was officially announced, although no date has been set as of this writing. This will be the final fight on Quinton Jackson’s UFC contract.
[adinserter block=”2″]I almost entitled the blog, “Rampage Jackson’s last UFC fight announced.” However I learned a long time ago that when it comes to contracts, never assume anything. Jackson has been tweeting for a week that he is done with the UFC after his next fight. Yet this isn’t the first time that Jackson has made those claims about being done with the UFC. It would not shock me at all to see the two sides come to a new agreement whether it be before or even months after his next fight.
This is certainly an intriguing fight. One of Jackson’s big complaints recently is that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva matches him up with wrestlers. According to Jackson, this prohibited exciting fights as opposed to giving him fights with strikers that would be more appealing to fans.
“I think Joe Silva needs to be slapped in the face,” he said. “I’m sorry, (but) you’ve got a fighter like me who likes to go out there and fight fights, so why do you keep giving me wrestlers who are going to take me down and hump me?”
He has no excuse in this one for anything less than excitement if that is really what he believes has prohibited him from having thrilling bouts. He will be matched up against a fighter with 17 Kos and a legendary reputation.
On paper this fight seems like an easy win for Shogun. Shogun is coming off of arguably the fight of the year against Dan Henderson. Rua went five, grueling rounds and finished strong in a losing effort. Since losing the UFC light heavyweight title, Rua has gone 1-1. Just looking at Jackson in his last few fights as opposed to Rua in his last few, this almost looks too easy for Rua.
Rua and Jackson are no strangers as opponents. Jackson and Rua have matched up before in Pride. Rua scored a brutal win via soccer kicks over Jackson back in 2005 at Pride Total Elimination. The win came in the first round at 4:47. So there is always the revenge factor at play for Jackson, although I still can’t give Jackson much of a shot here.
A win for Rampage would be absolutely huge. He would be leaving the UFC with a win over a top five fighter. There are already rumors swirling that Jackson’s first fight outside of the UFC could be a Super Fight with Fedor Emilanenko in Russia. While the fight would still have appeal, it would not be nearly the same with Jackson coming off of two losses.
[adinserter block=”1″]I am not sure what a win for Rua does here. I think most fans are hoping to see a rematch with Dan Henderson. Henderson is waiting out the Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans UFC light heavyweight title fight to fight the winner. My hunch is that Rua would need one more win after Rampage to get a championship fight, barring someone pulling out due to injury. A Henderson loss to the champion would probably wind up in a rematch between the UFC 139 opponents.
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