On May 28, the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will play host to UFC 130. The event is tentatively headlined by the third installment of the Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard Thrillogy (I am definitely trademarking).
One bout reported for the pay-per-view broadcast that could make for a nice co-main event is Quinton Jackson vs. Thiago Silva.
“Rampage” Jackson is coming off a slightly controversial split decision victory over fellow former light heavyweight title holder, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. Many believe Machida should have reigned victorious, especially after easily taking the third round.
However, Machida’s elusive, yet often backpedaling style may have been the culprit, which caused the decision to swing in the direction of Jackson, who continuously pressed forward.
The win over Machida was huge for “Rampage,” as it was a major divisional victory over the newly de-crowned former champ, after a lackluster performance against No. 1 contender Rashad Evans in May of last year.
Thiago Silva, the American Top Team stand out, put a thrashing on Brandon Vera at UFC 125 this past New Year’s Day. The bout saw Silva playing the bongos on Vera’s back, Silva using open hand slaps while riding Vera’s back and one of the most morbidly beautiful broken noses upon the face of “The Truth.” It was a return from a near year layoff due to a back injury and a rebound after being topped by Rashad Evans in January of last year.
Whoever reigns supreme between “Rampage” and Silva is assuredly right in line for a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Where on that line remains to be established. A myriad of top competitors in the light heavyweight division have upcoming bouts, many of whom hold wins over one another.
Rashad Evans will be facing the champ, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, on March 19 in the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ at UFC 128 for the Light Heavyweight Title. Evans holds victories over Jackson, Griffin and Silva.
Lyoto Machida, who squares off with Randy Couture in his next bout, holds victories over Evans and Silva, and is 1-1 with “Shogun.” Jackson has beaten Machida, yet has lost to Griffin, Evans and to “Shogun” back in the Pride days.
Forrest Griffin will be facing Rich “Ace” Franklin at UFC 126. Griffin has been victorious over Rua and Jackson, while he has fallen victim to Rashad Evans. Let us not forget a bout with major implication in Jon “Bones” Jones and Ryan “Darth” Bader.
A win for Quinton Jackson can put him a fight or two away from a chance to reclaim light heavyweight supremacy. I would love to see “Bones” Jones attempt to be the fork in “Rampage’s” road, should Jones beat Bader, and after a possible showdown with the winner of Griffin vs. Franklin. A rematch with “Suga” Rashad Evans would also be a nice follow up, should Evans draw the short stick in his bout with “Shogun.”
Should Thiago Silva have his hand raised, Jones would be the next logical step. It already has a backstory to build upon.
The “disrespect” Thiago Silva demonstrated when drumming on Vera’s back elicited this message from “Bones” via Jones’s Twitter account: “Traditional martial artist[s] always seemed to show honor and respect...Anyways what's done is done, I'm headed to the gym to make sure nothing like that ever happens to me...ttyl.”
It seems obvious that Jones would not mind a crack at Thiago Silva, presuming Jones wins his aforementioned meeting with undefeated Ryan Bader. Should this scenario come to fruition, a win for Silva could easily leave him a fight or two away from title contention.