Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones and number one contender Quinton “Rampage” Jackson exchanged a few heated words during a UFC 135 press conference on July 19.
Not surprisingly, Jackson initiated the verbal sparring by confidently stating Jones wouldn’t have the nerve to stand up and bang with him come fight time.
“I think I displayed pretty good kickboxing against Mauricio Shogun.” Jones fired back in response to Jackson’s comment. “Shogun is one who will throw knees and elbows and actually throw high kicks. Rampage is like fighting a boxer in my opinion. If he thinks that I’m intimidated to stand by him then I think it’s great for me that he’s under that impression.”
Rampage, who has been involved in some pretty interesting verbal confrontations over the years, continued taunting Jones who was coincidentally celebrating his birthday.
“I just have to say, straight up.” Rampage said. “I respect you dog, I do think you’re the future of MMA, keepin’ it real but you fought Shogun when he was rusty as hell. He was off an injury, hadn’t fought for a year, like two knee surgeries.”
The two MMA fighters went back and forth a bit, but it was rather obvious Rampage was enjoying himself. I can’t really blame Jackson for trying to get under the young MMA fighter’s skin, given a stand up battle with Jones will be his best case scenario at UFC 135. It’s no secret that a flush right hook from Rampage is enough to put any MMA fighter to sleep.
It’s very unlikely that Jones will bite at the bait, given the maturity the Rochester, New York native has shown in the past. I expect another excellent performance by Jones when the two MMA fighters meet at UFC 135.