Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Joe Rogan, and Rashad Evans. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
There are no secrets about the dislike that Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson have for each other. When the two came face-to-face for a staredown (video of the meeting is here) to hype up a once-scheduled light heavyweight title bout in May following Jackson’s unanimous decision win over Evans’ training partner, Keith Jardine, at UFC 96, the two exchanged heated words.
So when the UFC unknowingly booked both fighters for a recent photo shoot, things quickly escalated once Jackson saw Evans in the same room as him. From MMA Weekly’s “MMA Insider” blog:
While UFC light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans might be focused on challenger Lyoto Machida, by no means has he forgotten about Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. He says the two nearly came to blows at a recent UFC photo shoot. Some intrepid UFC staffers booked them on the same day, and things got ugly for a spell.
“I looked at him and he walked out of the room,” Evans told MMAInsider. “He was like, ‘that’s messed up putting us together.’ They tried to separate us, and the UFC walked him out in the hallway and walked me out in the hallway. And they walked me into the same hallway he was at.
“I looked at him and I was like, what, man? He was like, ‘Rashad don’t talk to me, man! Don’t talk to me! Don’t say nothin’ to me! You don’t know me! You don’t know me!’ The (expletive) I need to know you for?”
Eventually, cooler heads prevailed, and the photo shoot went on. But Evans filed it in the motivation bank for later.
People are still talking about their meeting at UFC 96 to this day, mostly for the intense excitement created and the words that were said. Now that Jackson will likely be fighting the winner of Evans’ title defense against Lyoto Machida later this year, the stage could be set for one of the most-anticipated (and most trash-talked filled) fights of the year. That is, if Evans come away victorious. The chance that Machida could abruptly end his title reign is more than real.
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