Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson (30-7) may finally get his chance to reclaim the 205-pound strap later this summer when he takes on the winner of Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida scheduled for UFC 98 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to Fighters Only Magazine.
UFC 98 had been suffering from a bit of an identity crisis early on. The May 23 event 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 main event was quickly (and awkwardly) changed to Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans during the UFC 96 broadcast on March 8. "Rampage" defeated Evans’ teammate Keith Jardine via unanimous decision and had a nice war of words with "Sugar" following the bout, but appeared lukewarm to the idea of competing just over two months after his scrap with "The Dean of Mean."
Jackson — who would have competed three times in the span of five months — withdrew from the event shortly thereafter, citing nagging injuries and a brutal training camp for his current physical condition.
He’s apparently opted to settle for the title of number one contender with a guaranteed shot at the winner of Evans vs. Machida at either UFC 102 or 103, according to the report.
Perhaps the only downside to a potential fight with either Evans or Machida is the fact that the former champ finds both opponents "boring."
Jackson on "Weird" Machida:
"Lyoto is a weird fighter, he’s kind of boring. I think that style works for him, the way he makes people run after him. I mean, he’s good, he’s undefeated, but he’s boring. If I was the promoter of a show I wouldn’t have guys like that fighting on my show."
And then on "Big-mouth" Evans:
"I did the UFC a favor and fought Jardine because Rashad wouldn’t fight me; that’s why I fought Jardine, because I was supposed to fight Rashad after the fight with Wanderlei. Since Rashad got a big mouth and got in my face, you already know who I want to fight. I’m thinking it might be a boring fight, but what do I know?"
UFC 102 is scheduled for Saturday, Aug 29, 2009 from The Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon and is expected to feature former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture, locking horns with former Pride FC and UFC interim heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira.
UFC 103 -- while yet to be announced -- is rumored to be scheduled for September 26 in the United Kingdom. Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more details as they become available.