Jon Jones vs. Quinton Jackson confirmed for UFC 135

The speculation is over. According to an announcement through the UFC’s website, newly crowned divisional king Jon Jones will defend his championship for the first time against former 205-pound title-holder Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on September 22 at UFC 135 as had been rumored in the weeks following Jackson’s win over Matt Hamill at UFC 130.

Though the pairing seemed to be foregone conclusion given Jackson’s performance against Hamill, talk of a pre-existing hand injury made worse in the bout had left the door open for Lyoto Machida to potentially slide into the top contender’s slot based on the amount of recovery time attached to the affliction. However, today’s confirmation seems to indicate “Rampage” was in better condition than he originally suspected and will be ready to go this fall in Denver.

Jones’ initial appearance as promotional champ will not only have him battling an apt adversary in the form of Jackson but history as well with Machida’s questionable decision over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 104 involving the single successful defense of the light heavyweight belt in nearly four years.

That being said, the challenge at hand isn’t likely to faze the 23-year old champion who has gone 13-1 in his career with the lone loss coming in what was almost certainly another win before Jones got carried away and delivered an illegal elbow rendering his opponent unable to continue. “Bones” has finished all four of his opponents since the defeat including his recent title-winning TKO of Rua in March and a submission of then-undefeated Ryan Bader in his previous appearance.

The September scrap fulfills a dream of Jackson’s who has hungered for another crack at the UFC belt since dropping it in a close fight with Forrest Griffin at UFC 86 less than three months after Jones made his professional debut. Jackson is coming off back-to-back wins over Hamill and Machida and owns an overall record of 32-8 with in-ring success against some of the sport’s biggest stars like Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, and Dan Henderson.

The pairing of Jones and Jackson is set to headline a UFC 135 card already featuring Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Damacio Page, Ben Rothwell vs. Mark Hunt, and Matt Hughes vs. Diego Sanchez.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

24 COMMENTS
  • I like this stylistically better than Rashad vs. JBJ…Jones’s super quick athletic crazy style vs the best Boxing at LHW. KO power vs. freak athelete. I like both these guys, but since he’s lost it, I’ve wanted that belt back on Rampage.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  • HevyHitters says:

    I personally can’t stand jones, I hope rampage puts a beating on him…I no it might not happen…but if page shows up motivated and in shape who knows, he will definitely bring it more then rua did..page better be carefull of those kicks

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  • MCM says:

    Can we please dispense with the idea that Rampage is gonna KO every opponent he steps in the ring with. Yes, he’s more than capable of knocking out mediocre Japanese fighters, but who has he knocked out since leaving PRIDE? Rampage has gone to 7 Dec. in his last 10 fights (that’s more than GSP). And that includes splits and loses to such Iron Chinned competitors as Forrest Griffen, Keith Jardine and Matt Lindland!

    Jones is gonna out hit, out kick, and out work Rampage from every angle.
    Jon Jones by TKO (knees) in the 2nd.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  • THEGUNNER says:

    I think rampage can take jones out in the first round. the fights gonna be this year so hes gonna stay in shape. I like that they put a good opponent for jones to prove himself chuck never had an easy fight with the belt on his waist.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • HevyHitters says:

    Who said anything about rampage knocking out every oppenent he steps in the ring with? Hmmm so since rampage came to the ufc, knocking out chuck liddell (in his prime)…knocking out marvin eastman…knocking out wanderlei silva…also knocking down rashad / forrest / jardine with strikes your saying he doesnt have heavy hands? Also beating hendo, machida, and hammill…ya all those guys are “mediocre” fighters i guess your right…if rampage clips ANYONE on the chin he will go to sleep…you could be right about jones out hitting/kicking rampage he definetely can do it, i just dont want him to…oh and also rampage may have gone to decision more then gsp, but his fights are much more entertaining, im always on the edge waiting for a k.o from rampage..not so much from gsp (not to take anything away from gsp he’s an amazing fighter)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • Rampage dropped Henderson and had he had 10 more seconds he would’ve been the first to tko him. He sent chuck down the road…he KO’d Wanderlei(who has only been Ko’d by serious strikers)
    Im tired of everyone make it seem like Keith Jardine or Forrest have the weakest chins in the business. Forrest in recent memory has only been KO’d by Rashad(outstanding power) Keith(wasnt an honest KO) and Anderson Silva(another not honest KO and that’s the best striker in the world) Rampage has been facing comparible if not better competition than GSP when you break it down. I see no reason it not bein safe to assume he wont KO someone….Im just not sure about him KO’ing Jones.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • Oh and even though we agree on rampage’s KO ability….let’s never use Marvin eastman….please…I think I met dude and KO’d him bumpin into him at the mall.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • HevyHitters says:

    ahaha i know, it was a sick k.o though!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • JabCrossHook says:

    I don’t know about if its the absolute BEST boxing in the LHW division, I would say Mousasi is probably a better technical boxer than Rampage.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • stone says:

    I just wanna see a good fight!… I really don’t care who wins. If I had to place a bet, I’d put my cash on Jones… I would really like to see Jones in some kind of trouble during the fight. I wanna see what he looks like after taking a Rampage hook to the mouth. I hope Rampage comes in phenominal shape, bcuz he’s gonna need it!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • JabCrossHook…I respectfully disagree….Mousasi is leaps and bounds ahead of Rampage in kickboxing, but just technical fisticuffs I think Quinton rolls better with his hooks than anyone. But I would love to find out firsthand and see that one happen.

    Stone I couldnt agree more…Jones is the safer bet BUT..Rampage has soo much power in that hook that one just clipping jones’s chin could make him feel something he’s never felt before…a light head and complete lack of balance. I doubt He’ll take Jones lightly(like he did with Forrest) and if he shows up as technical and diverse as he was when he fought Hammil but as hungry as when he knocked Wanderlei to dreamland, he has a solid chance at winning this fight.
    I would NEVER count out JBJ though.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • YetiLee says:

    The only KO we will see in this fight is going to be by the hands of Jones with Rampage getting KTFO in the first round. Rampage has been a shell of his former self and lost his killer instinct, where Jones is hungry and has something to prove. Personally Rampage doesn’t even deserve to be in a title shot right now, He lost to Rashad, should have lost to Machida but classic bad judging gave him the win, and he looked terrible against Hamill and while we are at it since when does beating Hamill make you #1 contender?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • MCM says:

    Here’s why Rampage will not beat Jones… there is a curse on the Light Heavyweight Belt.
    Since the creation of the UFC’s LHW belt there has never been a defending champion that lost the belt and was then able to reclaim it. Rampage was the last undisputed defending champion. Both Tito and Randy were able to work back up to title shots, but never took back the belt. (Randy regained the belt against Vitor, but he only lost it due to equipment malfunction, so…special circumstances.)
    Since 2000, and the rise of the UFC, there have only been two men to rule the LHW division, Tito and Chuck. Every single LHW champion since has had to fight one of these men before getting a title shot. Jon Jones is the first fighter in 11 years that has NOT had to go through either one of them, he’s an entirely new breed of fighter.

    Ignore the skill set of Jon Jones, ignore the skill set of Rampage Jackson, the curse dictates that Jackson will be unable to regain the title. (and may wind up getting KO/TKO’d.) Sorry Rashad, this goes for you too.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  • Rece Rock says:

    I’m not a jones fan so I don’t know this answer but has any body really tested his chin as of yet? Has he gotten rocked and rebounded as of yet?

    The fan in me hopes ‘page can find a way to win and comes into this bout knowing this is his end all be all when it comes to coming close to gold again and puts on one hell of a performance… BUT Realistically I guess on paper JJ can phone this one in and walk away with a win BUT my dislike for Jones is so great lately that I too hope he gets KO’d … I just don’t get the whole must see champ treatment he gets… I understand Zuffa is at a stage where most of the more recognizable fighters are either retired or irrelevant and they want to create new stars BUT it feels like this guy kinda gets a pass that I’m not quite sure he deserves just yet. That whole thing with Rashad was a bitch move.

    Jones reach may be a problem for page… he just gotta get inside and upper cut the shit outta JJ.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • locoRover says:

    Haha MCM! that’s the most foolproof logic I’ve ever seen on these forums. Well done. That’s why I love reading these threads.

    Personally I don’t think rampage is gonna get a chance to put his hands on jones. Jbj will slow him down early with kicks, use his superior speed and athleticism to take rampage down (like rashad was able to do). And, unlike rashad, jbj will inflict tons of damage on top and earn a tko stoppage in the late second or mid third via gnp.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • edub says:

    Jones is gonna destroy Rampage. Then Evans after he squeaks by Davis. Then whoever the next guy is. Jones is destroyer, and he won’t lose until he moves up to HW.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  • Makington says:

    The only time I’ve seen Jones take a shot so far was on his debut fight with the UFC against Andre Gusmao. There was one point in the fight when Andre had him kind of cornered against the fence and landed like 3 big power hooks but Jones didn’t seem too fazed by them and went back to dominating the fight. Granted, it was only a couple shots, and Gusmao lost that fight then got knocked out by Sosynzki(sp?) and was promptly cut by the UFC so it wasn’t the same as Quinton landing 3 hooks on you but Gusmao was in the middle of making a name for himself at the time, and was one of the better fighters in the IFL right before it’s collapse, although he obviously wasn’t UFC standards. He did seem like a bit undersized LHW too.

    This just seems like fuel to the fire for Rashad too. After all the bitching that has gone on between them and how Jones wasn’t a good enough wrestler for Evans Jones gets an injury that delays him only just long enough to fight the anti-wrestler, Rampage. Jones is a champ of the toughest division in the UFC so I don’t think he was afraid of Rashad or lacks the confidence, but I’m waiting to see what Rashad says.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Should be a very tense fight, but I think Rampage has shown that he can be a patient fighter and wait for his opponent to come to him, which Jones will have no problems with. This may be the classic whoever lands first type of fight, IF Jones lands a good kick or jab then nails a takedown and really hurts Rampage that could set up a sure fire tko, but If Rampage is able to counter the first big kick or takedown attempt and really get to Jones it could make Jon tentitive and give Rampage fuel for going for blood. Cant wait to see how this fight turns out.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • MCM that was gorgeous logic…however…the curse on the belt has another interesting twitch to it. Nobody since Chuck has ever defended the belt more than one time. Rampage defended it once and lost it to Forrest, Forrest to Rashad, Rashad to Machida…Machida NARROWLY kept it against Shogun only to be knocked out in the first frame of the rematch and the Bones mauls Shogun who looked unstoppable in his two appearances with machida and his asswhooping of Liddel….If Jones wins this, he’ll lose to Sugar…and I’d much rather he lose to Rampage.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    Oh I noticed that “twitch” superdave. That’s why I put Rampage as the last “undisputed” champ to defend the belt. In fact, Chuck and Tito are the only fighters to have ever successfully defended the title more than once. That’s what is so relevant about Jones having never gone through either of them.
    No I know Frank Shamrock defended multiple times, but when he held the belt it was called the Middleweight belt. It didn’t become the LHW belt until half way through Tito’s reign. It could be the fact that Frank never lost the title in the first place that caused the curse. And given that Tito was the last fight Frank had before vacating the title, there may be some residual “Mojo” attached to Tito Ortiz. Even Chuck had to go through Tito before he got his shot at the belt.

    All I’m saying is look at the evidence. The curse is real, and that’s why Rampage will not win the title.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  • MCM says:

    BTW,
    The only reason Rampage was able to defend the belt was cause he previously beat Chuck (PRIDE) and used to whoop up on Tito up at Big Bear when they trained together. Had he not had altercations with both Tito and Chuck, he too would have been a one and done champ.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Dave considering he used to be a boxer in the Netherlands and is going to be boxing for Armenia in the Olympics, its not risky to assume that Mousasi has better pure boxing experience than Rampage. Rampage barely jabs, Mousasi is quicker and has a very good jab. I guess we agree to disagree….

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • boomnutz says:

    MCM that was great btw.

    Let me preface my argument by saying I am a HUGE Rampage fan despite what i’m about to say.

    I can’t believe people are honestly giving Rampage a shot. He should have lost that fight too Machida, and just went to a decision with Hammill, imo his last impressive fight was against Hendo (well aside from Wanderlei) but at any rate ever since he left Juanito Ibarra (or maybe since he started training with Wolfslair) he’s kind of sucked. Even the Forrest fight (his last fight under Ibarra) was a fun back and forth fight. Now all he wants to do is stand and trade and every knows it! He seems to have stopped improving. Does anything think if his approach remains the same that Jon Jones is even going to allow Rampage to get in striking distance? He’ll obviously watch tapes of Forrest killing him with leg kicks and Rua and Wanderlei destroying him in the clinch. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see Jones submit him here (it’s been a LONG time since anyone’s tested Rampage’s jits). If I felt like Rampage would be motivated I may give him a chance, but I don’t even think he’ll be that motivated, it’ll just be another day at the office. The only plus side is after the fight he should get Rashad (if he loses) or the loser of Forrest/Rua – all 3 of which made his list of people he WANTS to fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Angry Mike says:

    Boomnutz is absolutely right. Juanito was the key to Rampage’s early success in UFC. Since then Rampage has been flat-footed and does not initiate. He waits to counter with the big bomb, and it is a bad game plan, especially for Jones. Rampage got this fight because of fans and his name. Rashad would be a much better fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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