The stage is set for scores to be settled and for mouths to be shut after Rashad Evans earned an unanimous decision over visibly frustrated and winded Thiago Silva at last Saturday’s UFC 108. Add Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s desire to complete his contractual agreements with the UFC and his yearning to “shut both Dana White and Evan’s mouths,” and you have the ingredients necessary for a convulsive concoction of two animated fighters looking to prove their dominance over each other.
With the bout tentatively scheduled for May 1st at UFC 113 in Montreal, Quebec, masterful MMA strategist Greg Jackson has already started to map out a blueprint for Evan’s success against fellow former light-heavyweight champion, Quinton Jackson.
“Without getting too specific, Quinton has some very good assets including punching power, his wrestling is good,” Jackson told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show” on Wednesday. “But where Rashad’s (strength) really lies is speed. And Rashad is so amazingly quick, and it’s one of those things where he looks quick but when he really gets going he’s really fast. It’s hard to keep track of where he is. Speed, among other things, is going to play a large factor in this fight coming up.”
A prospective clash between the two opposing Ultimate Fighter 10 coaches has finally come to fruition. The two were set to conclude Season 10 in customary fashion by headlining UFC 107 in Rampage’s home-town of Memphis until the Tennessee native opted out of the bout in exchange for reprising B.A. Baracus in the new remake of The A-Team.
Rampage’s abandonment caused a fiery of unfortunate events. His personal and professional relationship with UFC president Dana White crumbled in front of the eyes of the media. From day to day fight fans could search any MMA website to find headlines covering the ricocheting war of words between boss and employee.
Once the smoke settled, things calmed down. Rashad prepared for a new opponent in Thiago Silva, Rampage started wrapping up his acting duties and Dana White began hinting towards the possibility of Evans vs. Jackson in the near future.
The match-up was originally slated, like in previous seasons, as the climatic conclusion between two coaches that spent the entirety of most episodes verbally pestering each other. These verbal spats typically ended with Evans or Rampage fuming and proclaiming their eagerness to throw down in the octagon.
Evan’s lead coach and trainer, Greg Jackson, explained to Sherdog that despite the authenticity of the disputes, Rashad never held any vicious feelings towards Rampage.
“I think it’s all real,” he said. “I wouldn’t call it hate. I don’t think Rashad hates anybody. He’s too nice of a guy to hate someone. You’d have to ask him more about that, I guess, but when I was there they were just talking noise at each other and Rashad is a really funny guy, so is Quinton. So I think they would start teasing each other, then they would cross the line and get their feelings hurt and they would go back to doing it all over again. I’m sure on Quinton’s end he’s pretty upset. I think that’s why he said he’s coming back and I think Rashad just has a lot of fun. I know he doesn’t hate him.”