Only a fool would ever count Quintin “Rampage” Jackson out of a fight...but the question as to whether he is being underestimated or not is entirely different than counting him out.
So is Jackson being underestimated in this fight? Simply put, no.
Jackson is a boxer, and saying that he only has a puncher’s chance would be an insult to his great career. Jackson is a great athlete, but this just isn’t his fight.
At a glance, Jackson’s record is very impressive at 32-8, but a closer look reveals that when Jackson has gone up against top-tier strikers he hasn’t done well.
The two most notable wins on his record are against Chuck Liddell, who he has fought twice, and beat both times. Yet when Jackson has faced talented strikers, the likes of Wanderlei Silva or Mauricio Rua, he hasn’t fared well.
Jon Jones is a very unorthodox striker with an incredible reach advantage over Jackson. It isn’t impossible for Jackson to close the distance between him and Jones, but it isn’t extremely likely either.
Jackson’s wheel house just isn’t compatible with elaborate strikers. His boxing is superb, but trying to close the distance, and looking to land one big punch, just doesn’t work for him when he comes up against fighters that are faster, which Jones is.
The reality of this fight, despite the incredible power that Jackson has in his fists, is that he is going to be picked apart by Jones while trying to land one big punch. He hasn’t shown us a desire to do anything else, to expand into any other areas, and Jon Jones isn’t going to have much trouble tearing him down.
The sad truth of this whole thing is that Jackson really could be a contender against Jones, if only he’d expand on his range of skills as a fighter. With the power he has, Jackson could put many more fighters away if he’d move out of boxing and into some other forms of combat.
The best shot Jackson has at this point is to get inside of Jones’ range early, and try to do some damage. Once Jones has Jackson’s timing figured out, it’ll only be a matter of time until “Rampage” loses. Jackson is just too one dimensional to face a fighter with skills like Jon Jones.
So yes, the smart money is on Jones to win this fight. And no, Jackson is not being underestimated. But if you want to take a risk and have a decent chance at coming out with some real cash, place a bet with “Rampage” Jackson, he’s surprised us all before.