Quinton Jackson has decided not to accept the fight against Rashad Evans at UFC 98 due to nagging injuries he has been suffering with. UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans will now defend his light heavyweight belt against the undefeated Lyoto Machida in the main event of UFC 98: “Identity Crisis”.
Rampage defeated Evans’s teammate Keith Jardine last weekend at UFC 96, earning him a title shot against champion Rashad Evans. Jackson wasn’t too excited about the short turnover due to nagging injuries and a brutal training camp. Quinton Jackson will now fight the winner of the Machida vs. Evans fight. Rampage is also expected to undergo surgery to repair damage to his jaw, which he suffered in preparation for his UFC 92 fight against Wanderlei Silva.
Current UFC light-heavyweight champ Rashad Evans holds an undefeated 13-0 MMA record. Evans last fought at UFC 92, where he defeated ex-champion Forrest Griffin to capture the light heavyweight championship.
achida has been patiently waiting for a crack at the title and the news of the UFC finally granting Machida a title shot is long overdue. The undefeated Brazilian sensation currently holds a 14-0 MMA record with 6 of those victories coming in the UFC. Machida last fought at UFC 94 where he impressively knocked out Thiago Silva in the first round for his first finish in the UFC.
UFC 98: “Identity Crisis,” was originally supposed to feature a main event title fight between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, who were set to collide in a heavyweight title unification bout but Mir was forced to withdraw from the title bout with a knee injury that required minor surgery. Though the surgery was minor, Mir couldn’t train for the UFC 98 fight for 4-6 weeks.
UFC 98 also features a grudge match between former UFC welterweight champions Matt Hughes and Matt Serra and former number one middleweight contender Yushin Okami will return to the UFC to battle the fast rising 185-pound standout Dan Miller.