A report coming out of Brazil yesterday suggested Rampage Jackson’s next fight would come against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, not Lyoto Machida as Dana White hinted at last month or Forrest Griffin as Rampage requested. MMA Junkie followed up, and discovered verbal agreements are in place for the fight to happen on one of the UFC’s September or October shows.
Sources close to the competitors told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) verbal agreements are in place but that bout agreements have not been distributed.
And though the fight would appear a perfect headliner for September’s UFC 119 event, a source said October UFC 120 or UFC 121 slots are also possibilities.
UFC 119 takes place Sept. 25 in Indianapolis, and UFC 120 takes place Oct. 16 in London. UFC 121, meanwhile, is still in the planning stages but expected in late October or early November.
Despite both fighters making their marks in PRIDE, the two top ranked light heavyweights never actually fought each other in Japan, though they both have history with UFC light heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. A win for either could get them one step closer to a rematch with Rua.
Update: Dana White was asked about Rampage-Lil Nog after the UFC 116 pre-fight press conference. He says it’s just a possibility, not a fight they have locked in.
“It’s not true, we don’t have anything set up yet,” White said. “With that division right now, Little Nog could fight Rampage, Rampage could fight Machida. There’s a lot of fights we could make and we haven’t made any decisions on that fight.”
Asked if Nogueira-Jackson is being seriously considered by the UFC, White held his cards to the vest.
“We’re looking at all of them,” he said. “Time-wise, Rampage is still promoting the [A-Team] movie overseas, so we’re trying to figure out what the next fight will be.”
Dana also said Shogun’s knee is “coming along great,” but he won’t be back to defend his title for another eight months.