Call it a severe case of mixed signals.
Despite a UFC 96 pay-per-view telecast that clearly promoted matchups between UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 98 and UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir at UFC 100, neither fight is official.
During last night’s post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White and Jackson backed off the proposed title fight vs. Evans that was so heavily pushed during the PPV.
“… We’ve still got to make sure Quinton is 100 percent,” White began. “It’s not a done deal (vs. Evans at UFC 98 on May 23). Quinton has got to go and check something checked out and make sure he’s 100 percent healthy. If he is, that will be the fight. If he’s not, it will be (Evans vs.) Lyoto Machida.”
Jackson immediately added to the uncertainty in responding to the very next question.
“I want my belt back BUT I got to talk to my manager and everything and see if everything’s cool,” Jackson started to answer in response to a question regarding his feelings about a fight with Evans. “I’ll probably tell Dana what’s up in a couple of days.”
White was almost as equally tentative when speaking about a possible rescheduled date for Lesnar vs. Mir II at UFC 100.
“Off the top of my head, I don’t know, but it’ll be the summer,” White stated during the post-fight presser despite an on-camera interview during the PPV by Mir in which he seemed certain the fight was on for July 11.
Official announces by the UFC regarding the main events for UFCs 98 and 100 could come as early as next week.