Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will challenge UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones later this month for a chance to recapture the belt that once sat around his waist.
Though only 24-years-old, Jones has generated a mountain of hype behind his career by emphatically and creatively dispatching of top-flight opponents. After crushing Brandon Vera, Vladimir Matyushenko, and Ryan Bader (and, let’s be honest, Matt Hamill), Jones was awarded a title shot at then-champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (as a result of his former teammate Rashad Evans being forced out of the bout with a knee injury). Doing what Jackson could not when he met Rua under the Pride banner back in 2005, Jones took the fight to Rua early and eventually put him away with strikes in the third round to win the title.
Despite the impressive diversity of attacks Jones employed to put Rua down, Jackson sees Bones’ striking as being of little concern. The 33-year-old recently told UFC.com that he doesn’t believe Jones possesses much power behind his strikes and that he will earn his old belt back by virtue of his own notably heavy hands.
“I’m not worried about his punches or his kicks,” said Jackson. “I’ll walk right through it, I don’t care about it. He ain’t showing me a whole lot of power, especially with the way he stands. His stance is all wrong to even generate power. The guy can’t bust a grape. I’m confident that I have him figured out. I don’t think that Jones’ chin can take the kind of force that I’m gonna bring. He has never been hit that hard. I’m gonna have fun whipping his a**.”
Jones and Jackson will meet on September 24 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado for the main event of UFC 135.