Earlier today light-heavyweight champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua revealed that Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson was the UFC’s first choice to replace the injured Rashad Evans, not Jon Jones who has now been given the opportunity.
According to Rua, Jackson declined the opportunity to fight him for the title, but said he didn’t know why.
Luckily just hours later Jackson himself explained the reasons behind his decision in an interview with MMAJunkie.
“It’s not enough time to get ready for a five-round fight,” Jackson said of the proposed March 19th fight at UFC 128. “Dana knows that. 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. He saw me at the fight this weekend. Everybody saw how big I am.”
Rampage admits he’s packed on the pounds after going on vacation following his split decision over Lyoto Machida in November, which would have made the weight cut to 205lbs extremely difficult in such a short period of time.
“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.”
So Jones gets the title shot instead, and Rampage, who’s only recently got back into training, will stick with the UFC’s original plan – to match him up with Thiago Silva at UFC 130 on May 28th which gives him a full 12 weeks to get back in shape.