"Suga" rebounded from a Brazilian ass-whooping at UFC 98: "Evans vs. Machida" back in May to outlast (and outwrestle) the dangerous Thiago Silva in the main event of UFC 108: "Evans vs. Silva" just last night (Jan. 2) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Following the win -- which UFC President Dana White insisted was critical for a future dance with Rampage -- White targeted a tentative May 2010 date for their clash (possibly in Montreal) during the UFC 108 post-fight press conference.
Of course, the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2 Champion was originally booked to settle his differences with the Tennessee native in the main event of UFC 107 on Dec. 12 following his return to the TUF franchise as a coach at war with Jackson in the heavyweight season populated with big bellies and behemothic beards.
Unfortunately Rampage didn't stick to the script.
That's because Jackson was cast as "B.A. Baracus" in the upcoming theatrical remake of "The A-Team," which filmed in Vancouver on a two month commitment, effectively preventing him from being fully prepared to compete in front of his hometown crowd (Memphis) for the first time ever inside the Octagon.
White blasted the former light heavyweight champion for bailing on the bout, which was understandable considering the entire season of TUF 10 was built around his Dec. 12 showdown with Evans -- and it wasn't the first time in 2009 that Jackson didn't play by the rules.
Remember that he passed on the opportunity try and pry the 205-pound title from newly-minted division kingpin, Lyoto Machida, opting to take on the recently dethroned "Suga" instead. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua happily stepped in for Jackson and battle the "Dragon" to a close unanimous decision loss at UFC 104 back on Oct. 24.
Fortunately White is willing to overlook his past difficulties with Jackson to cash in on a grudge match with Evans while there is still some relevancy to their feud. And considering their history, it won't take long for the trash-talking to get underway.
The question is whether or not Jackson will be prepared enough to face his adversary after being out of action for over a year.
Time will tell.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more updates on the pending Evans vs. Jackson feud as the develop.