Although they displayed respect for one another upon the conclusion of their UFC 114 main event fight, Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson have evidently decided not to shut the door on their heated feud. Spurred by comments that Jackson made to UK MMA magazine Fighters Only to the effect that Evans won by using a boring style, Evans too spoke with Fighters Only to offer his rebuttal and to take a few of his own potshots at Jackson.
In response to Jackson implying that Evans attacked his knee after possibly getting inside information about an apparent knee injury, “Suga” had this to say: “When I had him against the cage I was kneeing him in the thigh, punching him in the thigh. If you read the article that he did on Fighters Only he is saying that I was hurting his knee that was messed up already. He’s saying ‘How did Rashad know that [it was injured], did he talk to the doc?’ – No, I could just tell because every time I hit it you f–kin’ whined like a little girl, that’s why.”
Although Evans has obviously taken issue with some of Jackson’s comments, he still holds “Rampage” in high regard as a fighter and maintains that his respect for the Memphis-native has not dwindled.
“I respect him as a fighter,” said Evans. “He didn’t quit like I thought he was going to quit. I thought he was going to be looking for a way out, but he didn’t. He didn’t quit, and I was definitely impressed with that. Certain positions that I had and I was like, ‘He is definitely gonna quit’ but he didn’t. He is definitely a fighter, he is a legend of the sport and for me to say I don’t respect him and respect that would be a lie, because I do.”
That respect does not have Evans wanting to go easy on Jackson though, and during the interview he called “Rampage” out for making excuses about the loss; saying that instead, he should just take his lumps and get back on the horse.
“At the same time, on the personal side, why is it every time he loses he has to make excuses?” questioned Rashad. “Just say, ‘I lost,’ and that’s the end of it. You don’t have say ‘It’s because of this’ or ‘It was a boring fight’, this and that. Would it have been a boring fight if, when I went down, he would have came on top of me and finished the fight? Everyone would have said, ‘Nah, that was the greatest fight ever.’ So why is it if he would have won it’s the greatest fight ever, but when I win it’s a boring fight? It’s not like the last two minutes of the fight I just laid on top of him and didn’t let him move. When I was on top of him I was punching him in his face. I was punching him in the face the whole time. And then when he got up, the fight was over.”
Rashad did not attempt to hide his ire as he responded to Jackson’s criticism of his wrestling-heavy strategy and also issued a message to fans that feel similarly to “Rampage.”
“It’s kind of upsetting because wrestling is a part of mixed martial arts and a lot of people said ’Oh all he did was just wrestle,'” said Evans. “If anybody watches the fight they will see that’s not all I did. Every single time I was in a wrestling position I was striking. And whenever the position got stale, Herb Dean broke it up. I took him down three times, and I was ground-and-pounding him the whole time.”
And for the fans, Evans declared, “I want to say, if you guys are fans be fans of the sport. Don’t be fans of just certain aspects of the sport. It’s not boxing. It’s MMA. That means you can use wrestling, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, karate, boxing, whatever you feel that’s your discipline. That’s the sport that you’re claiming that you’re fans of. Be a fan of the sport. don’t just say you are supposed to go toe-to-toe because that means you’re a man. No, that means you’ve got a short career.”
Evans has some time to fume as the title match between himself and champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua that he earned by defeating Jackson has been indefinitely postponed due to Rua undergoing knee surgery. Should Jackson get back in the title picture with a few wins a rematch with Evans (after he fights Rua) would hold intrigue and would certainly sell a few tickets.