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Head-On Collision

Written by Tom Ngo
March 8th, 2009
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UFC fans have witnessed many intriguing post-fight Octagon interviews over the years, however they have never seen one as intense and entertaining as the one that concluded Saturday night’s UFC 96 event. After UFC light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans watched former title holder Quinton “Rampage” Jackson run through his teammate, Evans questioned Rampage’s interpretation of who the world’s best 205-pounder is.

After his victory over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 92, Rampage said that he was more interested in getting his mind right before he demands the organization to grant him a title shot. It appears that his head is clearly focused on the title now, as he openly called out the champ for his belt.

When asked about the possibility of facing Evans in his next fight, Rampage screamed, “I want my belt back!”

Evans immediately emerged from the announcers table and jumped right in Rampage’s grill. The two stood there smack-talking at each other in one the most entertaining minutes ever produced inside of a UFC Octagon.

“Rashad, I’m getting that belt back,” Rampage said two inches from the champ’s face. “I’m getting that belt back. See it, Rashad; see it. I will be better than I was today. I’m gonna be well rested for your ass. I’m gonna knock you clean out. I’m gonna get my belt back.”

Evans replied back by stating that he would be willing to start the fight with his hands down and give Rampage the first punch. He added that he would send Rampage home, “crying like a little [expletive].”

After the two separated, Rampage grabbed the mic and said, “All I got to say is, there’s gonna be some more black-on-black crime!”

The UFC is hoping to have that assault take place at UFC 98, however UFC president Dana White was quick to point out that a May 23rd bout would mark the former champion’s third fight in five months.

“We still have to make sure Quinton is 100 percent,” said White stated at the UFC 96 post-fight presser. “It’s not a done deal. Quinton has to go get something checked out, make sure he’s 100 percent healthy. If he is, that’ll be the fight. If not, it’ll be Lyoto Machida (vs. Evans).”

Rampage seemed to understand that a bout with Evans would be a quick turnaround, however he is hungry to regain what he believes is rightfully his.

“I’ve got to talk to my manager, see if everything’s cool,” Rampage said. “I’ll tell Dana in a couple of days. You know, I’d do anything for Dana. I’m just sitting here thinking, most likely, my black ass will be up in the mountains training in the next two weeks.”

White then interjected, “If he feels like he can’t take this fight, we don’t want him to take this fight.”

Jackson followed that up by stating, “I’m gonna try though.”

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