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Quinton “Rampage” Jackson Calls Bout With Rashad Evans “A Step Backwards”

Since Quinton “Rampage” Jackson lost to Wanderlei Silva at Pride 28: High Octane in 2005 (a loss that he avenged in 2008), Jackson has only suffered two losses: a first-round TKO at the hands of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and a unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin. If Jackson is able to get past Rashad Evans at UFC 114 on May 29th, he will get the change to avenge the Shogun loss as UFC President Dana White confirmed that the winner of the bout will get a shot at Rua’s newly won championship title.

“I did commit to the [UFC 114] winner getting a title shot,” White recently stated.

Rampage recently stated in an interview with Fighter’s Only that he felt that a bout with Evans was “a step backwards,” and that it would be a “nice warm-up fight for Shogun.”

“I feel like fighting Rashad is a step backwards, because he doesn’t have the belt anymore,” said Rampage. “But if things go right, this will be a nice warm-up fight for Shogun. God willing if everything works out it will be nice. Everybody knows I took time off, it would be stupid to go right into a big title fight with Shogun so this will be a good test for me. If I lose to Rashad, I don’t even deserve to get my belt back!”

Rampage was knocked out in the first round by the current UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion at PRIDE Total Elimination 2005. Jackson claims that he did not take the fight with Rua seriously and that this is what resulted in the loss; the very same mistake he says he made in his fight against Forrest Griffin.

“He crashed me,” Jackson said of Shogun. “Right away, boom, took me out. He hurt my rib with knees. Totally unexpected, he jumped on me right away. I am trying to pace myself so I don’t get tired in the first round and Shogun just jumped on me. That fight has haunted me all this time. Now it still haunts me and its time to get him back.

“I have a similar thing with Forrest,” Rampage continued. “I didn’t train properly, I got injured in the camp. I got those healed up, but I was way overweight, didn’t train. Believed in my own crap, ‘I’m the champion, I just won the undisputed belt!'”

Those losses and his current opponent’s trash-talk seem to be Jackson’s biggest motivation to continue competing. As he puts it, “Now I want to go get Rashad. Nice warm-up fight, kick his ass. Fight Shogun, redeem myself for my sleep, for my mind. Then go and beat the hell out of Forrest, retire him.”

UFC 114 takes place May 29th inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. will be providing live coverage of the event.

Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.