'Shogun' Rua reveals Quinton Jackson was offered a title shot ahead of Jon JonesPosted on February 8, 2011, 12:42 AM by Joey Santosus
In a surprising turn of events Saturday night, the UFC announced that Jon "Bones" Jones would be granted an immediate title shot against current Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128. Joe Rogan first broke the news to Jones just moments following his victory over Ryan Bader at UFC 126. Jones' fellow Jackson MMA teammate Rashad Evans was originally set to face "Shogun," but was forced to withdraw after suffering an injury during training.
While Jones was noticably elated by the news, embracing the opportunity with open arms, it appears "Bones" was not the UFC's first choice of replacement. Speaking to Tatame.com, Rua revealed that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson had initially been offered the fight, but declined.
"The UFC thought in other alternatives, but it didn't worked out. For some reason he (Jackson) didn't accepted it," Shogun explained while speaking of his fight with Jones. "I'll have to change my training because he's a lot different from Rashad, much taller, and it'll be a great challenge He's been surprising everybody in the UFC, defeated everybody with easy, and it'll be a tough fight for me."
The revealation lead some to speculate that "Rampage" was ducking "Shogun," who defeated Jackson in a rather one-sided affair in their 2005 Pride FC bout. Jackson, however, refutes these claims, citing inadaquate time to prepare as his reason for passing on the match-up.
"I don't care who the opponent is," Jackson insisted when speaking with MMAJunkie.com. "I'm not taking a fight on four weeks' notice. It's not enough time to get ready for a five-round fight. 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."
"I'm 250 pounds, and I would have to lose 45 pounds in, what, three or four weeks?" he said. "The first time I fought 'Shogun,' I was injured going into that fight, and it's haunted me all the way up to now. I always believed the second time I fight 'Shogun' that I'm going to be close to 100 percent as possible."
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will make his first title defense when he meets Jon "Bones" Jones on March 19th in the main-event of UFC 128 from Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Quinton Jackson, meanwhile, will keep his sights set on Thiago Silva, who he will face at UFC 130 on May 28th.