Apparently the most intense stare-down in UFC history will be for not, as UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans believes that he’ll be fighting Lyoto Machida at UFC 98, instead of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
“He [Jackson] started making excuses and I was thinking like it sounds like an excuse-fest is about to happen, so I know he ain’t going to take no fight with me. He’s making excuses now,” Evans told Sherdog.com.
After his bout against Evans’ teammate Keith Jardine, a rumor was circulating that Rampage had sustained a hand injury during the fight that would force him to the sidelines.
However, earlier today the Ohio State Athletic Commission released the medical suspensions for this past Saturday’s UFC 96 event, and Rampage was not on the list.
Even though Rampage was issued a clean bill of health, a May 23rd fight would be his third bout in five months. That kind of schedule will take its toll on a body that is already pushed to its limits.
Realistically, Evans’ first-ever title defense will come against the undefeated Machida, then Jackson will fight the winner of that fight.