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UFC 71: Trainer confirms Liddell-Rampage rematch

Liddell-Rampage rematch
It was on ... then off ... and now on again.

The trainer for Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (26-6), Juanito Ibarra, today confirmed through that his fighter will face UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell (20-3) at UFC 71 on May 26.

Jackson has been adamant that he wanted at least another fight prior to a showdown with the "Iceman" to showcase his skills in front of an American audience and to knock off the rust from a relatively inactive 2006 campaign.

UFC President Dana White appeared to be onboard with that plan, mentioning numerous times that this inevitable rematch would most likely happen at the end of the summer.

However, with Keith Jardine upsetting Forrest Griffin at UFC 66, the pool of marketable fighters at 205 who could challenge Liddell and bridge the gap to a match up with Rampage became super shallow.

It was also widely rumored that White was finally going to deliver former PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva, setting up one of the most anticipated bouts in recent history.

We can blame Dan Henderson and PRIDE 33, apparently, for screwing that one up again — if it was ever in the cards to start.

Therefore, Rampage — who beat Liddell back in 2003 — emerged as the only man for the job right now.

His UFC debut win over Marvin Eastman earlier this year at UFC 67 wasn't a sensational performance, but it was solid.

With Liddell recovering from pneumonia, as well as minor finger and knee injuries, it's clear that both men will enter the bout with a few issues surrounding them.

Will both be ready and at the top of their games?

We'll find out sooner than expected.

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