One of the most heated rivalries may remain unsettled . . . at least for the time being. As noted earlier today, UFC president Dana White officially announced that the light heavyweight championship bout between champion BJ Penn and top contender Diego Sanchez will be taking place at UFC 107 in Memphis, Tennessee. MMABay.com is reporting that the bout will be replacing the Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – Rashad Evans bout as the main event of the show.
According to the report, the fight has been scrapped due to Rampage’s commitments to filming “The A-Team”. Rampage plays B.A. Baracus in the movie, a role immortalized by Mr. T, and will be working alongside cast members Liam Neeson and The Hangover’s Bradley Cooper who will be playing Col. John “Hannibal” Smith and Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck, respectively. Starring in the big-budget Hollywood feature would have left him with no time to adequately prepare for Evans.
Jackson and Evans will be opposing coaches on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, and the show was supposed to lead into UFC 107, whick takes place in Rampage’s hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. White had noted that the hatred between the two had developed into one of the craziest seasons of the show yet.
“Anytime these guys got within two inches of each other at the show, it’s bad,” White recently noted. “They really don’t like each other and these two really want to fight. Season 10 is probably some of the best television we’ve ever done. It’s crazy.”
Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter premieres September 16th on Spike TV. The season 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.
Meanwhile, fans will probably have to wait until next year before they can see Rampage and Evans finally clash.