The UFC announced today that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and top contender Quinton “Rampage” Jackson have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 135 in September from Denver, CO.
Jones leapfrogged former training partner Rashad Evans in the contenders’ queue when “Suga” injured his knee shortly before a title shot against then-champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Jones beat Rua, got the title and it looked like Jones vs. Evans for the title was on — even at the cost of their friendship and Evans’ ties to the Greg Jackson camp.
Before the fight could be booked though, Jones bowed out to rehab a hand injury and Evans took a fight with Phil Davis scheduled for late summer. Jones has since decided to not have surgery on the hand, and has been cleared to defend against Jackson.
Jackson earned the shot after garnering back-to-back victories over Lyoto Machida and Matt Hamill. Despite remaining a top competitor in the division, it is his first title fight since he lost the UFC light heavyweight championship via unanimouis decision to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86 in July of 2008.
While not officially announced by the organization, UFC 135 is expected to take place on September 24, 2011 from the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO. It is the first time that the UFC has run Denver, the site for UFC 1 and UFC 2, since UFC: Ultimate Ultimate 1995 back in 1995, although they have run smaller events in nearby Broomfield, CO.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.