At least for now, the door has been closed on one of the most high-profile grudge matches that MMA has yet seen. After months of hype, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and “Suga” Rashad Evans stepped into the cage to settle a beef that apparently had roots dating back for some years. Evans came out on top Saturday night, but rather than sulk in defeat Jackson took his lumps and gave Rashad his due for dishing them out.
“I’m not a sore loser,” Jackson said at the post fight press conference. “That’s why I commended him. [We are] all cut from the same cloth; we all put our lives on the line, and get in the Octagon and do battle.
“[We are] the alpha men of the planet, I feel. If anybody beats me, no matter how they beat me, they beat me and I respect that.”
Jackson admitted that the long layoff he took to film “The A-Team” remake played a large role in his defeat and that the high-tension between himself and Evans was not to blame. At one point, “Rampage” even went so far as telling the press in attendance that he almost wishes that he never participated in the movie to begin with.
“I’m really ashamed of myself that I fell victim to ring rust,” said Jackson. “Emotions had nothing to do with it.”
Jackson also gave credit where it was due, to Evans and his well-employed strategy.
“It was no secret that Rashad was going to try to wrestle me,” Jackson said. “Rashad was faster than I anticipated, and he was more aggressive than I anticipated. He had a great game plan and it worked well for him.”
As for when he will step back into the Octagon, Jackson said that he is uninjured from his bout with Evans and that if he has his way fans will see him back in the cage right away.
“I would like to get back in there as soon as possible,” said “Rampage.” “I didn’t like the way I felt, how much I hesitated.
“This fight’s going to haunt me for a long time. I’m just one of those guys –- it’s really going to haunt me.”
Although he missed out on a direct title shot with past opponent Mauricio “Shogun” Rua by losing to Evans, “Rampage” is still among the top of the heap at 205 pounds; it shouldn’t be too long before we see him back in action, working towards a title shot against top competition. As far as the rivalry of the century goes, Evans and Jackson were both impressively classy after their fight but seemingly have not completely buried the hatchet. They both humorously told each other to “kiss my a**” at the post-fight press conference.