Quinton “Rampage” Jackson faces one of the toughest tests of his controversial career when he meets Lyoto Machida at UFC 123. Jackson claims “The Dragon’s” chin was exposed in his last outing and he intends to conduct his own pop quiz tonight in Motown.
“I watched that fight with [Mauricio “Shogun” Rua],” Rampage told MMAFighting. “No disrespect to Machida, but he was punching at the same time. They punched at the same time, and me being a fighter, I could tell that that wasn’t a really strong punch that dropped him. It comes with a price, not getting hit. So that tells me that if he’s not getting hit in fights, he damn sure ain’t getting hit in sparring.
“I let people hit me in sparring sometimes to get used to it. Some people say they don’t mind getting hit. I actually like getting hit. It doesn’t bother me, somebody punching me in my face.”
Machida, on the other hand, is like most of us in the sane world and would prefer to avoid getting socked in the face at all costs.
Unfortunately, the Brazilian was forced to grant Shogun a rematch at UFC 113. By the time he regained his senses, his hardware and aura of invincibility were long gone. Rampage believes last May’s loss will have a lingering effect on Machida’s performance tonight in the Motor City.
“I remember my first time getting knocked out by [Wanderlei Silva], and then my next fight I didn’t fight the same,” B.A. Baracus admitted. “Even me, I was trying to be elusive. It’s one of those things, we’re going to see what type of mentality he has. Some people can overcome it, but average people can’t overcome it.”
The Brazilian stakes claim to a practically perfect 16-1 pro mark, so he’s far from your average Lyoto. Is there a Plan B in place should your theory prove faulty?
“I don’t care about his fights and last performance. That’s like the last of my worries, to be honest,” Rampage said in closing. “But there’s a reason why he doesn’t get hit that much.
“But when he does get hit, he goes down. We all see that.”
UFC 123 will be jumping off inside The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, Michigan.