I don’t know a single mixed martial arts fan that isn’t looking forward to the Rashad Evans vs. Rampage Jackson fight on August 29th, mainly because the build up has been brilliant. All because the UFC isn’t fake like the WWE, doesn’t mean they can’t develop feuds that make you want to give them your $49.95.
It started a year ago at UFC 96. Rampage Jackson (former light heavyweight champion) just defeated Keith Jardine, who is a team mate of Rashad Evans (the title holder at the time). After the match, Rampage said he wanted his belt back…which drew Rashad into the Octagon to get in his face for one of the best in-ring confrontations I’ve seen. Missed it? Here’s the video.
Then came season ten of “The Ultimate Fighter,” where the UFC was able to showcase the two of them week after week on Spike TV. It started on the first episode; Rashad had lost the title after being decimated by Lyoto Machida and Rampage was offering “constructive criticism” of his performance. After that, the Rampage/Rashad arguments were so entertaining…you begun to look for forward to them each week than you did the contestants on the show fighting.
The original fight was called off because Rampage went to go shoot the “A-Team” movie (which I’m expecting to be a debacle of epic proportions), but it’s set for the end of the month. For the last minute promotion? Three weeks of “UFC Primetime” showing the two fighters training for the fight…and of course “respectfully” informing the other on how they intend to defeat them.
The one who is victorious on the 29th will most likely get a title shot against new champion Shogun Rua.
How’s that for storytelling?
The question now is…who’s going to win?