“Why would it change because I’m matched up with him? Why would I change how I like his fighting style just because I’m fighting him?… I’m prepared for a fight. I’d rather fight someone who’s going to put on a show like me and stand and bang. Those people are true warriors, true fighters like the way BJ Penn fights and Matt [Hughes] fights. I like watching guys like that fight. Other guys I’m not a fan of at all… I feel like I have a fighting spirit, a true warrior spirit. When you get in the octagon, you fight. It’s not like boxing where guys are trying to outpoint each other and go for a decision. We’re MMA fighters, we’re the best athletes in the world. I just hate to see our sport change into boxing where people aren’t even fighting anymore. I can’t even watch a boxing match anymore.”

—Rampage Jackson, via MMA Fighting, on a UFC 123 conference call addressing if he’s changed his opinion on Lyoto Machida being “boring as hell”

Like it or not, Machida’s style is what Rampage will have to contend with and figure out this weekend if he wants to get back on the winning track. Without revealing any details, Rampage says he lost the Rashad Evans “a couple weeks” before he ever stepped foot in the cage with him. He says his body is much more prepared for this fight than the Evans fight, but I think the real question is whether or not Rampage Jackson is mentally prepared to take on a fighter the caliber of Lyoto Machida. After his recent comments about seeing fighting “strictly as an occupation,” I think it’s worth asking if his heart is in it and how bad Rampage really wants to win next Saturday.

Image via Esther Lin for MMA Fighting