Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, and Rashad Evans
Little did anyone know, but Quinton “Rampage” Jackson came into Saturday night’s fight with Matt Hamill nursing a fractured hand, but he fought on and dominated “The Ultimate Fighter” alum.
The victory landed him back into title contention, putting him in place to fight current champion Jon Jones this fall, but the fractured hand may pull him right back out of it.
“If he’s okay, yeah,” UFC president Dana White answered when asked if Rampage would get the title shot versus Jones. “We’ve got to get him looked at by a doctor, then we’ll figure it out, and we’ll go from there.”
And just where does the UFC go from there if Rampage can’t go?
“If Rampage can’t go? Listen, we’d either have to do Machida, because Machida’s ready to go, or have him wait for Rashad,” said White. “Because Rashad is 100-percent confident that he’s gonna win this fight (against Phil Davis at UFC 133) and wants to turn right around and fight Jones, too.”
With Evans’ fight taking place on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia, and Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa, telling MMAWeekly.com that his client is likely to return somewhere around late September or sometime in October, Machida would appear to make more sense, given the timeline.
As White said, Machida is ready to go, waiting for a fight to come his way. He just demolished Randy Couture at UFC 129 in Toronto, so a fall bout would be perfect timing… and he wants the fight.
“That’s a fight that we would love,” Machida’s manager, Ed Soares, told MMAWeekly.com recently. “I don’t think Lyoto lost the Rampage fight and we saw what Lyoto did to Randy couture. How many people have done that to Randy Couture?
“I just think that – granted Rashad earned that shot, but these things happen in the fight business – when you look at people’s schedules for fights that make sense, all I can see that makes sense is Lyoto vs. Jones.”
Of course, this is all based on the big “what if” Rampage can’t go. He says he can.
“I’m okay. I’m okay. I’ll keep going,” he said at the UFC 130 postfight press conference.
If the x-rays concur, all of the “what if” talk is moot, but if Rampage is out, Machida may want to start work with Steven Segal to fine tune another devastating technique to take out Jones like he did Couture.
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Ken Pishna is the managing editor of MMAWeekly.com.
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