The now infamous war of words between UFC light heavyweight contenders Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans will be settled when the two meet in the cage at the conclusion of the The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights show at UFC 107. In an interview with Ariel Helwani of Versus, Rampage shed some light on the origin of their quarrel, and his opinion on men playing with their own nipples prior to a fight.
“Most fans don’t know that it was supposed to be Rashad fighting me instead of Jardine [at UFC 96],” Jackson said. “But what I heard is that Rashad wanted to hold his belt longer, so he turned down the fight.”
Jackson went on to defeat Jardine via unanimous decision at UFC 96: Jackson vs. Jardine. However, Jackson noted that he took the fight as a favor for the UFC.
“I did the UFC a favor taking that fight with Jardine,” Jackson noted. “I was over-trained, and anything can happen when you’re over trained.
“Rashad didn’t take the fight. They [Evans and Jardine] were complaining that they didn’t want to fight each other because they’re teammates, they be twisting each other’s nipples and stuff. They can play with each other’s nipples all they want. I’m fighting,” Jackson stated.
Jackson went on to note that he eventually wants to regain the UFC lightweight championship, which he lost to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86: Jackson vs. Griffin on July 5, 2008.
“I’m gonna get my belt back,” he predicted. “And anybody that gets in the cage with me, they’re gonna get smashed for real.”
Jackson and Evans are tentatively scheduled to face each other at UFC 107 in Memphis, TN on December 12th. TUF Season 10 premieres September 16th on Spike TV, and features former EliteXC star Kimbo Slice and a slew of ex-NFL heavyweights, who will be competing for the title of “The Next Ultimate Fighter” and a six-figure contract with the UFC.