With UFC 98, 99 and 100 just around the corner, the organization’s president Dana White and match maker Joe Silva will have their hands full trying to fill out three of the most important fight cards in the organization’s history. White states that as of now, nothing is definite.
UFC 96’s main event featured a match between former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Keith Jardine. The bout was hyped as a top contender fight for Rampage, with him earning first crack at Rashad Evans’ brand new title if he walked away victorious.
However, even though Rampage won a convincing unanimous decision over Jardine, which led to one of the most intense post-octagon interviews in UFC history with Evans and Rampage jawing at one another separated by only an inch of airspace, Rampage still isn’t guaranteed a title shot.
“We still have to make sure Quinton is 100 percent,” 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).”
White was careful to point out that they didn’t want to burn Rampage out, as a UFC 98 fight would mark his third in a brief five-month span.
A Machida-Evans bout wouldn’t command the same box office excitement as a Rampage-Evans fight would, however at 14-0, it would be tough to argue that Machida is not also deserving of his shot at the strap.
In addition, just days after interim UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir stated that a knee injury would force him to pull out of his rematch against fellow champ Brock Lesnar at UFC 98, Mir stated on Saturday night’s UFC 96 broadcast that he would be recovered in time to make a UFC 100 bout against the former WWE employee.
White however was not ready to commit the two to that event.
“Off the top of my head, I don’t know, but it’ll be the summer,” White said of when the heavyweight title would be unified.
As of now, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is slated as UFC 100‘s main event, as he will be taking on Brazilian sensation Thiago Alves at the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.