Although Dana White claimed at the UFC 126 post-fight press conference there wasn’t a Plan B in place had Jon Jones lost to Ryan Bader or declined a title fight with champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, it appears a former A-Teamer was the first option all along.
On Monday, Shogun told Tatame.com Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was offered the shot after Rashad Evans was forced out of their UFC 128 bout with an injured knee. However, Shogun didn’t know why Rampage declined and handed “Bones” the opportunity of a lifetime.
It didn’t take long for Rampage to catch wind of his alleged dodging act, as he quickly explained why he wasn’t down to play substitute. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not because Shogun hung a vicious 1stRound TKO victory on him at ‘Pride: Total Elimination 2005.”
“I don’t care who the opponent is, I’m not taking a fight on four weeks’ notice,” Rampage told MMAJunkie. “It’s not enough time to get ready for a five-round fight.
“Dana knows that. And Shogun, he’s a fighter, and he should know that. He shouldn’t even go and say [expletive] like that with him being a fighter. He saw me at the fight this weekend. Everybody saw how big I am.”
Rampage owns an extensive 31-8 professional record, with 21 of his wins coming before the final horns have blared. He was last seen taking a controversial split decision win over Lyoto Machida at UFC 123.
Since that time, B.A. Baracus has been spending time with his family. Unfortunately for his waistline, that’s involved a ton of eating … on multiple continents.
“I’m just doing maintenance training right now,” Jackson said. “I just started back. I fought right before the holidays, and I went on vacation to see my family and took my kids to see their family in Japan.
“I’ve been living my life, so I gained a lot of weight. I’m a natural fighter. I don’t do any drugs, and I don’t know any high-performance drugs, so I have a natural body. My body gains weight when I don’t train and I don’t eat like I’m in camp.”
According to Rampage, he would likely tip the scales today at a whopping 250 pounds. Clearly it would have been tough to lose 45lbs to meet Shogun on March 19th, but he shouldn’t have any issues getting there for his rumored UFC 130 scrap against Thiago Silva on May 28th.