Sure, he didn’t talk about it much leading up to his highly anticipated grudge match with Rashad Evans at UFC 114, but Quinton “Rampage” Jackson showed what cage rust can do to any fighter.
“I kept trying to block out all the people talking about ring rust. I knew it was going to be a factor, but I kept trying to block it out. But tonight I felt it, I felt it bad. I’m a little ashamed of myself that I fell victim to ring rust,” Rampage told ESPN.com.
Jackson was out of action for nearly 15 months before stepping into the octagon on Saturday night and Evans took full advantage of a fighter who looked out of sorts.
It was an uphill battle for Rampage from the beginning, as reports had him tipping the scales at a whopping 251 pounds at the start of his training camp. FYI, the weight limit for the Heavyweight Division is 265 pounds.
When Jackson was finally able to land a power shot and stun Evans in the final round, Rampage missed almost all of his follow up punches and was far too gassed to pursue Evans with the killer instinct he’s displayed in the past. Evans was able to completely recover, and from there the former Michigan State Spartan out-wrestled Jackson for a future light heavyweight shot against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Following his disappointing performance inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White said Jackson will now have to work his way back up the 205-pound division if he intends on getting back the title belt he once donned.
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