UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones will make his first title defense against former UFC and PRIDE champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135 from Denver, Colorado in September.
In preparation for the event, the two took part in a pre-fight press conference in the Mile High City yesterday. During the presser, Jackson and Jones went back and forth after Jackson was asked if Jones would want to stay standing with him.
“You know he is,” replied Jackson. “Come on, man. Who’s been standing with me, dog? Who’s been actually doing mixed martial arts with me? Everybody’s been wrestling me. You already know, player.”
Jones responded by mentioning his stand-up in his title-winning effort over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in March.
“I think I displayed pretty good kickboxing against Mauricio “Shogun [Rua],” Jones stated. “And Shogun was throwing knees and elbows and high kicks and things. Rampage is like fighting a boxer in my opinion. If he thinks that I’m intimidated to stand with him, I think it’s great he’s under that impression.”
“Well, I just have to say – straight up, I do respect you, dog,” replied Jackson. “I do think you’re the future of MMA, straight up, keeping it real. But as far as ‘Shogun,’ he was rusty as hell, dog. He was off an injury, hadn’t fought for a year, (and) had like two knee surgeries.”
“There will always be excuses,” noted Jones. “There will always be excuses. I’m sure after our fight I’ll hear, ‘you didn’t fight the Pride Rampage, you fought the movie star Rampage.’ There will always be excuses.”
“Whatever,” Jackson said. “You’re right. There’s always excuses. There’s a hundred of them. I’ve got like three excuses for every time I lost… I ain’t going to lie.”
Jones quipped, “Are you thinking of anything good now?”
“I ain’t going to need no excuses after this fight,” Jackson replied. “I ain’t going to need not one. You’re going to need a bunch of them.”
UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage takes place on September 24, 2011 from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.