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Fabio Maldonado vs. Rampage Jackson? 'Iron Hillbilly' petitions UFC for 'fun fight'

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

If and when Quinton Jackson finally makes his return to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), something mixed martial arts (MMA) fans are expecting in early 2015 after last week's surprise announcement, "Rampage" won't have to look far for an opponent.

That's because the former 205-pound titleholder is already being courted by light heavyweight stand-and-banger Fabio Maldonado, who would give fans a "fun fight" while simultaneously granting Jackson this wish.

"The Iron Hillbilly" talks to MMA Fighting.

"I think this fight is interesting not only for me, but for a lot of people. It's an exciting match-up. He has better wrestling and I have a better jiu-jitsu, and we both like to brawl. It would be a fun fight to watch, and you don't know what to expect. I think it's a good fight. When I beat Beltran in the UFC, he went to Bellator and got the fight I always dreamed about. I always wanted to fight ‘Rampage', and the guy I beat got the chance. I want to fight him. I'm sure ‘Rampage' will stand and trade punches with me. He's dangerous. He knocked out a guy that I couldn't finish, a guy that I won a close split decision. I'm sure he'll stand with me. He won't shy away from a brawl. His hands can knock anyone out in the UFC."

Despite his Bellator success, Jackson hasn't scored a finish inside the Octagon since 2008.

How well he fares in his UFC return may depend on when he makes his UFC return. His former employer has vowed to exercise its contract rights after "Rampage" jumped ship by his own volition. The only upside to that little wrinkle is that it gives Maldonado more time to heal up from his recent knee surgery.

This potential slugfest doing anything for you?

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