The UFC has finally confirmed that the highly anticipated light heavyweight scrap between former champs Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans will headline the organization’s UFC 114 event on May 29th.
“It’s no secret that Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans don’t like each other, and this rivalry has gotten more and more intense in the last few months,” said UFC president Dana White. “I can guarantee you that neither one of these guys wants to lose to each other. This fight is going to be insane.”
The bitter rivals were originally slated to fight at UFC 107 after completing their assignments as coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights,” however Rampage opted to turn his back on MMA and accept the role of B.A. Baracus in the movie remake of “The A-Team.”
Rampage holds an impressive 30-7 professional record, however hasn’t fought since taking an uneventful unanimous decision over Keith Jardine, Evans’ Jackson Submission Fighting teammate, at UFC 96 last March.
“I really want to knock this guy out,” Jackson said. “I’ve never, ever wanted to knock someone as cold as I want to knock Rashad Evans out. He’s disrespected me so much, for so long. I am so motivated to train my ass off.
“I’ve moved my coaches into my house already – Rashad should be prepared to see a brand new Rampage in May. I can’t stand him. He’s a disrespectful person and I didn’t even want to beat Wanderlei [Silva] as much as I want to beat this guy.”
Evans bounced back nicely from his only professional loss when he escaped with a unanimous decision victory over Thiago Silva at UFC 108. Although the wrestler dominated much of the matchup, Evans was nearly knocked out in the fight’s closing seconds by a desperate Silva.
“I don’t like all the pre-fight talking, so I can’t wait until I finally get my chance to shut him up,” said Evans. “There were a lot of times on the show when I wanted to hit him right there. When Keith [Jardine] was training for his fight with Rampage, I had to mimic Rampage’s style. I can probably beat Rampage as Rampage now.
“Plus, he’s gotten fat. He needs to get in shape just to get in shape. I may come to the Octagon with Mr. T just to get in his head.”
UFC 114 will take place inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here are the fighters rumored/slated for the pay-per-view broadcast:
Ryan Jensen and Jesse Forbes
Chris Leben vs. Aaron Simpson
Melvin Guillard vs.Thiago Tavares
Efrain Escudero vs. Dan Lauzon
Amir Sadollah vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow
Michael Bisping vs. Dan Miller
Diego Sanchez vs. John Hathaway
Forrest Griffin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Rashad Evans