UFC president Dana White has finally announced the victor of the UFC 114 light heavyweight scrap between Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will get first dibs at Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s new title.
“The winner of the Rampage Jackson vs. Rashad Evans fight will get the first shot at Shogun,” White told Carmichael Dave Monday afternoon.
Although everybody and their mothers anticipated this scenario playing out, for some reason White refused to confirm that the main event on May 29th would serve as a 205-pound top contender bout. As recently as Saturday’s UFC 113 post-fight press conference, White remained noncommittal as to who Rua would fight first.
Shogun took the crown this past Saturday when he put Lyoto Machida to sleep in the 1stRound of their highly anticipated rematch. Machida was handed a controversial unanimous decision in their initial meeting, however Shogun went circa 2005 and captured his first major championship belt.
Rampage and Evans 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.
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.
UFC 114 takes place May 29th inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.