Maybe no one is positive as to who started it, but a feud definitely developed between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Jon Jones during the lead-up to their UFC 135 light heavyweight title fight.
There was a lack of respect displayed by both men and they both got in their jabs when they could; the whole thing became such a show that they were frequently dual-booked for press appearances just so more people could witness their back and forth. Once the cage door shut last night though, the fun and games were over. Jon Jones put a beating on Rampage from the first bell, doing exactly what he said he would do and taking his respect by finishing Rampage for the first time in his UFC career. Though their was plenty of heat between the two in weeks prior, when the dust settled, they showed each other nothing but respect.
“I told Quinton that I admire him so much and that I respect him so much,” Jones said of the in-cage conversation he and Jackson shared post-fight. “I tried to play it off like it was these two lions – and it was two lions – but the truth is, I look up to him a lot. I’ve been watching him for a long time. That first press conference me and him had, he kinda killed me. He was making all the jokes and I didn’t know what to do. I was sitting across from somebody I really looked up to. Then I evaluated the situation and realized that I didn’t want to be the victim again and I would talk back. That’s why I did so much talking in this training camp.”
From here on out though, Jones believes that he and Jackson’s relationship will be nothing but amicable and he’s happy with the way things have turned out.
“It was a good talk,” he said. “It was one hundred percent respect from each other. I’m sure we’ll be cool from now on every time we see each other.”