* UFC 114 will feature five Ultimate Fighter winners *
(Evans, Bisping, Sanchez, Escudero, Sadollah and originally Forest was scheduled to fight)
Winner Gets Shot at Shogun’s Belt
Quinton Jackson (30-7-0)
Rashad Evans (14-1-0)
Jackson – Wrestling, Boxing
Evans – Wrestling, Boxing, Kickboxing, Mauy Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
|37 matches||30W||7L||16 matches||14W||1L|
|By knockout||14||3||By knockout||5||1|
|By submission||7||1||By submission||2||0|
|By decision||9||2||By decision||7||0|
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is a an American mixed martial artist, who made his name primarily in ‘Pride FC’ before fighting in the UFC and had a impressive record of 26-6 (he has a record of 4-1 in the UFC). Fans of the UFC have been waiting what feels like forever for the Rampage-Rashad fight and it will finally take place at UFC 114. It was originally scheduled for UFC 107, but Rampage decided he’d rather cash in playing B.A. Baracus of ‘The A-Team’ in his big-screen debut. Rampage is the kind of person who is very, very spontaneous and jumps at any chance he can to improve his name. Originally, Jackson wanted to pursue professional wrestling but when he saw the UFC, he was hooked and never looked back (until Hollywood came calling). In small-scale organizations such as King of the Cage, Gladiator Challenge and DangerZone, Rampage compiled a record of 10-1 before signing with Pride FC. His early days in Pride was full of disappointment as he lost to Kazushi Sakuraba and Daijiro Matsui. At this point, his record was 12-3 and he knew if he wanted to be taken seriously in the sport of MMA, than he had to take the sport seriously. Rampage trained harder, studied his opponents more and ripped off seven straight wins, with the last win of the streak coming against Chuck Liddell at Pride Final Conflict 2003 (in a tournament style, he lost the next match to Wanderlei Silva). It has seemed as if Wanderlai has had Rampage’s number as he beat him yet again at Pride 28: High Octane (three fights after his first loss to Silva). Rampage won a split decision in his next fight against Murilo Rua before Mauricio Shogun Rua handed Jackson the sixth loss of his professional career (he unmentioned loss came in his third fight against Marvin Eastman).
After his loss to Shogun, he won two more fights in Pride before it closed its doors and than made an appearance in World Fighting Alliance: King of the Streets and won a split decision over Matt Lindland. Rampage wanted the UFC and fortunately for Rampage, the UFC wanted him just as bad and Jackson was fighting yet again the best in the world. But first, he wanted to cancel off his loss against Marvin Eastman and at UFC 67, knocked him out in the second round before he did the same to Chuck Liddell but this time, in the first round at 1:53 at UFC 71. Not only did he win knockout of the night, he won the Light-Heavyweight Championship and defended it against Dan Henderson in a unanimous decision at UFC 75. Rampage was letting everyone in the mixed martial arts world know he was the real deal but may have taken his fight against Forest Griffin lightly as Griffin was able to pull off the victory via decision in a match-up that won 2008 fight of the year. Losing the belt hurt, and you can expect Jackon wants nothing more than to win against Evans and earn another shot at Shogun. Rampage since bounced back with a win over Wanderlei Silva, proving to a lot of people, but most important himself that he has improved enough to beat Silva by knocking him out early in the fight. Most recently he fought Keith Jardine (one of Rashad’s best friends) and won a unanimous decision at UFC 96. It’s been forever since Rampage has fought (March 7th 2009) and their may be a little rust, especially after leaving the UFC to film a movie but he knows he can’t take Evans lightly. Rampage talked smack all season long and has the skill to back it up and I fully expect him too. Also, he will howl like a wolf after he knocks out Evans… just saying’
‘Suga’ Rashad Evans is an extremely skilled fighter with heavy hands, submission abilities, endurance and insane kicks. The guy can fight and it’s been evident through-out his mixed martial arts career. Before appearing on the Ultimate Fighter Season 2 (the season he won), he fought in DangerZone as well as GC FightFest compiling a record of 5-0. On Season 2 of ‘TUF’, he appeared as a heavyweight and although he dominated the fights, he never won without going to the judges cards which is a bit alarming since the names (other than Jardine) are no-bodies. Tom Murphy, Mike Whitehead, Keith Jardine and Brad Imes all feel victim to Evans and Rashad not only earned a UFC contract, but had made a name for himself in the UFC… a name that would only grow. Some sites credit Rashad’s wins on the show, as well as amateur bouts posting a record of 19-1-1 but the UFC does not count ‘TUF’ in-house fights, nor his amateur ones. Don’t be confused, Evans is 14-1-1, still impressive but not 19-1-1 if that what you’ve seen. Immediately after the show, Evans made the transition to Light-Heavyweight and appeared on the fight-cards at UFC Fight Night 4 & 5, winning both bouts against Sam Hoger and Stephan Bonnar. Evans had been winning a lot of fights via decision but heard a lot of critics saying he couldn’t finish fights. Well, at UFC 63 and again at UFC Fight Night 8, Evans knocked out Jason Lambert and Sean Salmon, one with a punch, one with a head-kick. Critics silenced. At 10-0, with proof he can finish fights, the UFC paired him up against Tito Ortiz and the fight resulted in a draw (it should be noted Tito was deducted a point for grabbing the fence). Hard to say if they fought again if it would be much of a rematch. Tito is done and Rashad is hitting his prime.
Some may argue Rashad Evans has already hit his prime and it coasting through it on his way back to the light-heavyweight championship. While I wont disagree, at 30 years old, and only fighting professionally for six years, there is a ton of room for improvement. But he is because he is extremely talented and after the draw with Tito, yet again gave the MMA world a dose of Suga Rashad with three straight wins over Michael Bisping, Chuck Liddell and Forest Griffin. The win over Bisping came via split decision and was not nearly as impressive as his knockout over Liddell at 1:51 of round two at UFC 88. Possible even more impressive, was his TKO win over Griffin at UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008, which saw Evans crowned the light-heavyweight champion. Unfortunately for Rashad, being on top of the division didn’t last long as Lyoto Machida overwhelmed Evans with a flurry of punches that eventually made Rashad’s legs give out and he feel unconscious. After Rampage left for Hollywood, Evans was told he had to fight Thiago Silva and if he won, he would earn a shot and Rampage Jackson when he returned. During the fight against Silva, Evans deviated from his normal stand-up striking style and showed improvement in his takedowns and grabbling (before the fight, he was awarded his blackbelt in BJJ) and it frustrated Thiago. In the third round, Silva connected with a right hook that nearly dropped Evans but Thiago was unable to finish the fight. The road back to the championship started with a win over Silva, and Evans is looking for it to continue with a win over Jackson so he can not only shut him up, but get a shot at what he feels is ‘his belt’. Evans and his fans will be disappointed as his road back ends here.
TheCoach’s Pick: JACKSON via TKO
UFC PRIMETIME RAMPAGE VS RASHAD: EPISODE ONE
UFC PRIMETIME RAMPAGE VS RASHAD: EPISODE TWO
UFC PRIMETIME: RAMPAGE VS RASHAD – EPISODE THREE
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About the Author: TheCoach knows his stuff. Now you can either utilize the knowledge, or regret that you didn't.