Quinton “Rampage” Jackson spent the bulk of last season’s “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights” questioning Rashad Evans’ glass chin after he was put to sleep by Lyoto Machida at UFC 98.
Jackson then watched Evans fight Thiago Silva at UFC 108 after he chose to “retire” from MMA because of a highly publicized spat with UFC president Dana White. Although Evans escaped with a unanimous decision victory, his inability to take a punch was magnified after Silva nearly knocked him out in the bout’s closing ticks.
“He fought a guy with no wrestling, as soon as Thiago Silva touched him a little bit his legs got all rubbery. He fought Thiago Silva like a coward and I know I hit harder than Thiago Silva,” Jackson told ESPN UK.
Several pundits, including Evans, have long-questioned Jackson’s commitment and evolution in the sport of mixed martial arts. However, the former 205-pound undisputed world champion was quick to point out that it’s all by design.
“If he thinks I’m one-dimensional, he got another thing coming. I can do a lot of things, but this is the thing people don’t realize – when I’m there in the fight I’m doing what I want to do,” Jackson said.
Jackson isn’t sure what Evans’ gameplan will be Saturday night inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but he believes it will most likely involve some wrestling and a few leg kicks – a la Forrest Griffin at UFC 86.
Rampage’s intentions, on the other hand, are crystal clear.
“I just want to destroy him. I just want to punish him,” Jackson added.
Not only will the winner of this highly anticipated showdown get bragging rights for infinity and beyond, but the victor also earns first crack at Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and his brand new light heavyweight title.