UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans (13-0-1) will defend his crown against former 205-pound kingpin Quinton Jackson (30-7) in the main event of UFC 98 from The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, May 23, 2009.
"Rampage" solidified his place as first in line with a hard fought unanimous decision victory over Evans' teammate and close friend Keith Jardine at UFC 96: "Jackson vs. Jardine" from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, March 8.
UFC 98: "Black-on-Black Crime" was originally headlined by Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, who were set to collide in a heavyweight title unification bout until Mir was forced to bow out with a knee injury that required minor surgery.
Mir and Lesnar are now scheduled for fisticuffs at UFC 100 on July 11.
The good news is that Jackson and Evans will hook 'em up sooner rather than later. The bad news is that Lyoto Machida will likely wait until the end of the year for his shot at the light heavyweight title, perhaps longer if Jackson is victorious.
It's hard to imagine Rampage -- who already has a short turnaround between UFC 96 and UFC 98 (just over two months) -- fighting someone as dangerous as Machida with just a few months in between.
If "Sugar" is able to best Jackson, "The Dragon" may get a crack at the belt a bit sooner, but keep in mind that former 205-pound champ Forrest Griffin is returning this summer from a hand injury and is unquestionably looking to get himself back into the fold.
And don't forget about the winner of Liddell vs. Shogun at UFC 97.
There are plenty of possible scenarios but first things first: Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans at UFC 98. Also on the May 23 card, former UFC welterweight champions Matt Hughes and Matt Serra will settle their eternal grudge match and former number one middleweight contender Yushin Okami will return to the Octagon to challenge the surging 185-pound standout Dan Miller.
For the latest UFC 98 fight card and rumors click here.