UFC 114 analysis and some funny Rampage Jackson quotes
There is nothing like a good grudge match; Furthermore, there is nothing like a good grudge match between two of the worlds most elite mixed martial artists. For your amusement, here are some of Rampage Jackson’s best quotes leading into his light heavyweight match up against Rashad Evans this Saturday at UFC 114, mixed in with a little of my analysis.
“He’s not great. I fought great and I beat great, and he is not great. He can’t take me down, his cardio is crap. He says I wasn’t in shape when I saw him in Sydney (in February), and no I wasn’t. But I am now and I will be in the fight. He was (huffing and puffing) in his last fight in the third round. He hits like a kid, like all silly swinging his arms. And we all seen that glass jaw. What’s he gonna do? He’s got nothing for me.” – Rampage Jackson
My notes: Actually, Rashad’s cardio looks excellent. If you have been watching UFC Primetime, you know what I am talking about. Rampage actually looks like the slower of the two , but that could be a case of creative editing. Rampage has been dieting hard, but I don’t know what his actual conditioning program consists of. His camp may have opted not to allow the UFC to film the regimen. Rashad’s camp showed some real workhorse conditioning, however, and “Suga” looks ready to go.
Rampage does make a good point. I have never been a fan of Rashad’s wild boxing, but his speed is tremendous, and allows him to land those wild, looping overhand punches.
Rampage on Rashad training with Keith Jardine:
“What Jardine gonna tell him? “Hey – don’t get beat up for three whole rounds?’ Even Rashad can figure out that.
“I train with Bisping, he’s my friend. Bisping went to a split decision with Rashad and I thought he should have got the decision. If anyone is getting good inside information, I am.
“I was ring-rusty against Jardine, and I may be in this fight in Las Vegas. That gives Rashad a teeny-tiny chance. Not a good chance, just a teen-weeny chance. Like 0.05%. If I had fought more recently? He’d have no chance, he wouldn’t have needed to show up. He’d have fainted in the hotel room and we could have sent the referee with room service to wake his ass up and call that a KO.
“But don’t go crazy and bet money on Rashad. Don’t do that to yourself!”
My Notes: I had the misfortune of attending the event Rampage mentions above. Bisping lost a split decision to Evans at UFC 78, which took place in Newark NJ. The whole card was a snooze fest and this was a lackluster main event. Regardless, Rampage doesn’t have much to go on based on Evans performance at UFC 78. That event was two and a half years ago and Rashad has evolved tremendously as a fighter since that time.
On the other hand, Evans has little to no advantage by training with Jardine; Jardine didn’t do much against Rampage, and Jardine’s unorthodox striking game couldn’t be farther from Rashad’s. Rampage probably had a specific game plan going into that fight to dismantle Jardine’s odd striking technique. He won’t execute the same game plan against Rashad.
Rampage discusses a possible fight with new UFC light heavyweight champion, Shogun Rua:
“I am happy Shogun won. Now after I get a nice warm-up fight against Rashad, I get my belt back and pay Shogun back for the nap he gave me. Then I hope Forrest gets back healthy and gets winning some and I will set that one right. That would be a good three fights. I will beat Rashad’s ass – or arse as they say in England – then get my belt back with some payback and then I want to retire Forrest.
“Shogun is a good fighter. He’s got the belt, but it is still my belt. I never should have lost that and I should have got the title rematch instead of Rashad getting it. But once I beat Rashad, it is on.”
My Notes: Shogun put Rampage to sleep with soccer kicks at PRIDE – Total Elimination 2005. Ahh, the beloved head stomps and soccer kicks. This rematch would be great for PRIDE purists. It is a moot point until we know what happens this weekend with Rashad and Rampage this weekend. This match should determine the number one contender for Shogun’s title.
I am no Rashad Evans fan. I don’t get particularly excited to watch him fight. That being said, I think he will pull this one off. The betting lines have Rashad as a very slight favorite right now, and I agree. Rashad’s line is -120 and Rampage is at -110. This fight is one of those fights that can go both ways, and it’s also one of those fights that has the potential to start very slow and end very fast. I think Rashad’s speed and conditioning will be the x-factor in this match, and as long as he doesn’t get drilled with a shot from Rampage while dancing around the cage, Rashad should be able to pull off the W.