UFC 135 headliners Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-8) and current light heavyweight champ Jon “Bones” Jones (13-1) were in Denver Tuesday for a press conference to promote their upcoming Sept. 24 title fight at the Pepsi Center.
Jackson, a former light heavyweight champ in his own right, has as his focus regaining the 205-pound belt and putting a halt to the meteoric rise of the young phenom even he calls “the future of MMA”.
In one of the most spirited exchanges of the press conference, Jones was asked if he planned to take Rampage to the ground. Rampage immediately interrupted and it went like this…
Reporter: “I know you [Jon Jones] can’t give away your game plan but will you look to use your wrestling”
Rampage: “You know he is. Who’s been standing with me dog? Who’s been actually doing mixed martial arts with me? Everybody been wrestling me dog. You already know, player.”
Jon Jones: “You know, I think I displayed pretty good kickboxing against Mr. Shogun. And Shogun is someone who actually knees and elbows and throws high kicks and things. Rampage is like fighting a boxer in my opinion. So if he thinks I’m intimidated to stand by him, I think it’s great for me that he’s under that impression.”
Rampage: “I just have to say, straight up, I respect you dog. I do think you the future of MMA. Straight up. Keeping it real. But you fought Shogun when he was rusty as hell, dog. He was off an injury, hadn’t fought for a year, like two knee surgeries…”
Jon Jones: “There will always be excuses. … I’m sure after I beat you you’ll say, ‘You didn’t fight the Pride Rampge, you fought the movie star Rampage.’ “
Jon Jones: “There will always be excuses.”
Rampage: “You’re right, there’s always excuses.There’s a hundred of them. I got like three excuses for every time I lost, I ain’t gonna lie. I got a bunch of them.”
Jon Jones: “Are you thinking of anything good now?”
Rampage: “I ain’t gonna need no excuses after this fight. I ain’t gonna need not one. You gonna need a bunch of ’em.”
What say you ProMMAnow.com readers; with almost half of Rampage’s 32 wins coming by knockout, would it be foolish of Jones to try and stand and trade, or is he better off mixing it up and trying to put the veteran on his back sometime during the fight?
Here are some more highlights from Tuesday’s UFC 135 presser: