The much anticipated bout between Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson came one step closer to becoming a reality last night at UFC 108, as Evans defeated Thiago Silva via unanimous decision to earn the fight.
“Getting to fight him [Rampage] would be a good opportunity to say the least,” Evans said at the UFC 108 post-fight press conference.
UFC President Dana White stated that he was looking at UFC 113 in May in Montreal for the fight, which would also feature a UFC light heavyweight title match-up between champion Lyoto Machida and challenger Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
“We’re thinking maybe, probably May,” he said. “That’s going to be a sick card up there.”
Jackson was slated to face Evans at UFC 107 last month, however had to pull out of the fight when he accepted the role of B.A. Baracus in the upcoming movie, The A-Team. The fight cancellation caused a public feud between Jackson and White, prompting Jackson to release a statement in September announcing that he was retiring in order to pursue his Hollywood ambitions. Jackson went on to announce his return in December, citing a bout with Evans as the reason for his coming back.
“The fight should have happened two weeks ago [at UFC 107],” White stated. “But I’m over it. I’m past it. I think Rashad is too. Now’s the time to do that fight as soon as he’s done with his movie.”
Evans admitted to wanting the bout with Jackson more than a shot at the light heavyweight title at this point, which is probably best for all parties. Notwithstanding the big payday for a bout with Jackson, if Evans were to wait for a title shot it would be in the late summer at the earliest, assuming that the winner of the Shogun – Machida bout in May were to come out unscathed. Evans also admitted to not being quite yet ready for another shot at the title.
“It’s always great to fight for a belt, but I think I need one more fight to integrate everything I’ve been working on so that when I do get a title shot, no one will beat me,” Evans admitted.
UFC 113 is expected to take place on May 1, 2010 from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Stay tuned to FightLine.com for further updates on the event.