Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is a battle-tested veteran, but he’s possibly in for one of the toughest matches in his career against current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
The 24-year-old Jones has proven to be one of the most athletically gifted and technically proficient fighters currently competing in the sport, marrying a precise brutality with a dynamic, forward-moving offense to great effect. Training with the renowned Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jones is currently on a four-fight winning streak, with his only loss coming by disqualification in a match where he was absolutely manhandling Matt Hamill.
Since then, Jones has torn through respected veterans in Brandon Vera (whose face Jones restructured with an elbow), Vladimir Matyushenko and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (from whom Jones won the belt) in addition to knocking off fellow young prospect Ryan Bader. In each fight, it looked like boys facing a man; Jones wasn’t given a moment of real trouble by any of those competitors and most believe Jackson will meet a similar fate.
Rampage doesn’t quite see it that way.
In a recent video message he recorded for his fans, Jackson assured his followers that he’ll show up to the fight well-trained and looking better than ever — determined to get his belt back. Jackson believes that his experience is being overlooked and he plans to show the world that Jones is still green.
“This guy has never been tested, he’s never been hit,” said Rampage. “I ain’t worried about his height, his reach. I ain’t worried about none of that. The guy can’t bust a grape. I ain’t worried about his crazy spinning elbow moves… We’ve done broke this guy down.”
Jackson and Jones are scheduled to meet on September 24 at UFC 135, which will take place at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.