UFC 135: Rampage Jackson wins the pre-fight battle with Jon JonesPosted on September 22, 2011, 01:11 PM by Anton Gurevich
This weekend, MMA icon Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will go to battle inside the Octagon for the 10th time in his illustrious career, this time facing the young lion Jon "Bones" Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight title. The fight will headline the UFC's return to Denver, Colorado, their first time since the Ultimate Ultimate event that took place back in 1995.
On September 24th, sixteen years after Ultimate Ultimate, Jackson will look to repeat Dan Severn's triumph over the much younger and skilled Oleg Taktarov in the one-night Heavyweight Tournament. But does Rampage really have the right screwdrivers in his toolbox to unscrew the UFC Light Heavyweight title off Jon Jones' waist? We'll try to answer that question.
Jackson markets himself as KO artist, often saying "I like knocking people out". Well, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion has 14 KO/TKO finishes on his record, with some of them being an indispensable part of Mixed Martial Arts history. But when looking deeper into the statistics, there’s a tendency that should worry Jackson’s fans around the world; Rampage fought 9 times so far in the UFC, finishing only 3 of his opponents via KO/TKO – Chuck Liddell, Marvin Eastman, and Wanderlei Silva. In fact, Jackson’s last KO, the one over Wanderlei Silva, was back in 2008 at UFC 92. Jon Jones made his professional MMA debut in 2008.
Speaking about Jones, the Champ finished Ryan Bader, Vladimir Matyushenko, Matt Hamill, Brandon Vera, and of course Shogun Rua in his most recent appearances inside the Octagon. It’s being said millions of times, but there’s no doubt about Jon Jones being Anderson Silva-class talent, and in my humble opinion, a much better fighter than Rampage Jackson in every aspect of Mixed Martial Arts.
The only positive thing for Jackson, in my opinion, is that he has gotten really deep under Jon Jones’ skin. The mental aspect of Mixed Martial Arts is where Quinton Jackson has a huge advantage over Jon Jones. Those are his keys to victory at UFC 135. The PRIDE legend is a veteran of heated rivalries and over-the-top trash talk, which is a whole new world for the twenty-four year old Jon Jones. We can clearly see by Bones’ reaction that he’s taking the pre-fight build-up with Rampage Jackson too personally. Watching his UFC Fight Night 25 interview with Jackson is enough to understand that Jon Jones is way behind his opponent when it comes to having a thick skin.
An unfocused and reckless Jon Jones can send Rampage Jackson back in time to 2008, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Wanderlei Silva laid motionless, out cold on the canvas. Only this time it will be Jon Jones at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, with the word “former” added to his title of UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Luckily for Jones, he successfully dealt with a tremendous amount of pressure during the build-up for Shogun Rua. The majority of MMA fans around the world were on Shogun Rua’s side, as Jon Jones played the “arrogant and disrespectful kid” role. Bones stepped up to the occasion, and is now the reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
Finally, the fight between Jon Jones and Quinton Jackson is one of the most exciting Light Heavyweight bouts in recent memory. Both are one-of-a-kind athletes, with their own strengths and weaknesses. It will be very interesting to see Jon Jones dealing with another experienced opponent, probably on his way to a Top 3 P4P status.