If Quinton Jackson didn’t respect UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones before they met in the Octagon Saturday night he most certainly does now. “Rampage” became the dynamic 24-year old’s latest victim after struggling to handle his reach for most of their headlining bout at UFC 135 before finally getting submitted in the fourth round.
Jackson discussed the fight at the post-event press conference where he said he got “desperate” at times and explained that the only real challenge Jones will face at 205-pounds is former teammate Rashad Evans.
“I was very confident (but) a couple of times I was getting kind of desperate,” the former PRIDE fighter began. “I wasn’t sticking to my gameplan like I trained to do. It was frustrating me…Jon’s presence, his reach and stuff, was really hard to deal with. I had guys taller than Jon doing the same thing, sparring with them, but I guess it’s different when you’re sparring and in an actual real fight. So I was getting kind of desperate in there.”
When the subject turned to what Jones’ future may hold in terms of potential roadblocks on his path to all-time great status, Jackson pointed towards the next scrap scheduled for the 14-1 title-holder.
“I think Rashad is the only person, basically, who has a chance to beat him since Rashad trained with him before,” said Jackson. “So other than Rashad I don’t see anybody beating this kid, straight up. I thought he was all hype. I’m keeping it real here. The kid is tough. He’s very talented.”
“I take my hat off to (Jones). He’s good,” he concluded.
No date has been set for Jones vs. Evans. “Suga” ‘Shad is 16-1-1 and solidified his shot at UFC gold with three consecutive wins over Jackson, Thiago Silva, and most recently Tito Ortiz at UFC 133. Though both used to call Greg Jackson’s gym in New Mexico home, the Ultimate Fighter 2 winner left the camp after Jones openly stated a willingness to fight him and their red-hot rivalry was thereby born.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC