Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is looking to rebound from a loss to Rashad Evans this Saturday night when he takes on Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida at UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida. Machida is coming off of a loss himself, having lost his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua this past May via first round knockout. That defeat marked Machida’s first as a professional, and Jackson feels that the knockout showed Machida’s inability to take a punch.
“I watched that fight with Shogun,” Jackson told MMAFighting.com. “No disrespect to Machida, but he was punching at the same time. They punched at the same time, and me being a fighter, I could tell that that wasn’t a really strong punch that dropped him. It comes with a price, not getting hit. So that tells me that if he’s not getting hit in fights, he damn sure ain’t getting hit in sparring.
“I let people hit me in sparring sometimes to get used to it,” he continued. “Some people say they don’t mind getting hit. I actually like getting hit. It doesn’t bother me, somebody punching me in my face.”
Jackson has only suffered three losses in his career via KO or TKO, with the first being to Wanderlei Silva at PRIDE Final Conflict in November of 2003. Jackson noted that being knocked out affected him in his next fight with Ikuhisa Minowa.
“I remember my first time getting knocked out by Wanderlei, and then my next fight I didn’t fight the same,” he said. “Even me, I was trying to be elusive. It’s one of those things, we’re going to see what type of mentality he has. Some people can overcome it, but average people can’t overcome it.
“I don’t care about his fights and last performance. That’s like the last of my worries to be honest. But there’s a reason why he doesn’t get hit that much. But when he does get hit, he goes down. We all see that.”
UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida takes place tomorrow night from The Palace of Auburn Hills in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills, Michigan. As always, FightLine.com will provide live coverage of the event.
Who do you think will take the Rampage – Machida bout? Let us know in our ‘Comments’ section below.