Some MMA pundits have expressed the opinion that, based on his opponent Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s recent, uninspired in-cage performances and his admittedly waning motivation for the sport, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones should have little trouble defending his newly-won title this weekend at UFC 135.
The conventional line of wisdom for this fight is that Jackson, while still threatening, has stagnated as a fighter and will not be able to overcome Jones’ more complete and dynamic style. Jones himself believes that he’s already defeated his opponent by virtue of the work he’s put in at the gym.
“I’ve simplified my playbook a little,” said the champ. “I’m still working on a 1,000 different kicks but I’ve also tried to work one kick a thousand times. You beat Rampage Jackson in the gym; you beat him because you want it more in the gym for months. That’s why I feel the fight has already been won.”
Jackson, though, is happy to be underestimated and has quietly maintained that he’s worked harder for this fight than he has in years – even admitting that his level of commitment had been dwindling up until now.
“For recent fights, it has been hard to work one hundred percent and I am a person if I am not motivated, I am unmotivatable,” Rampage admitted. “But no one has needed to try to motivate me for this fight; I want my belt back. Between me, my Wolf’s Lair team and the guys at the MusclePharm gym here in Denver, we’ve spent over a million dollars on this camp. You’ll see the best Rampage since I fought Wanderlei Silva.”
Jones and Jackson will fight in the main event of UFC 135 this Saturday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. Check back on FightLine.com that night for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.