Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson may not dislike each other as much as they dislike Rashad Evans, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to shower each other with compliments leading up to their title fight at UFC 135 either.
The pair were the feature presentation in a UFC 135 press conference that was held in Denver earlier today. And while they managed to remain mostly civil, they both hit each other with a few verbal jabs during the presser as well. The highlight centered around one of their common opponents — Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. MMA Fighting’s Mike Chiappetta has the transcription:
Jackson: “You know he is. Come on, man. Who’s been standing with me, dog? Who’s been actually doing mixed martial arts with me? Everybody’s been wrestling me. You already know, player. ”
Jones: “I think I displayed pretty good kickboxing against Mauricio “Shogun [Rua]. And Shogun was throwing knees and elbows and high kicks and things. Rampage is like fighting a boxer in my opinion. If he thinks that I’m intimidated to stand with him, I think it’s great he’s under that impression.”
Jackson: “I just have to say, straight up, I respect you dog. I do think you are the future of MMA, straight-up. I’m keeping it real. But you fought Shogun when he was rusty as hell. He hadn’t fought for a year. He had like two knee surgeries.”
Jones: “There will always be excuses. He didn’t fight the PRIDE Rampage, he fought the movie-star Rampage, so there will always be excuses.”
Jackson: “You’re right. There’s always excuses. A hundred of them. I have like three of them for every time I lost, I’m not going to lie.”
Jones: “Are you thinking of anything good now?”
Jackson: “I ain’t going to need no excuses after this fight. I ain’t going to need not one. You’re going to need a bunch of them.”
Interestingly, their mutual rivalry with Rashad Evans never became a focal point of discussion, but Rampage did manage to find a way to compare Jones to Evans while simultaneously attempting to put any speculation to rest that he’s not taking fights seriously anymore.
“Him and Rashad got something in common,” Jackson said. “They’re both really cocky. I’m confident, very confident in myself. There’s a difference. Last time I was this confident, I knocked someone [Chuck Liddell] out in the first round and got that belt. I’ve been working hard, training and doing all the right things, all the stuff I need to be doing. That belt’s coming back to me, for real.”
Even if Rampage is at the top of his game though, will it be enough to take out the seemingly unbeatable champ? I suppose we’ll find out September 24.
Gif via IronForgesIron.com