Rampage Jackson has emerged as the frontrunner to challenge Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title. At UFC 130 this past weekend, Dana White strongly hinted that Rampage would get the nod if his hand checked out and today comes a report from MMA Junkie with Jon Jones claiming he’s fighting Rampage next.

“I’ll be fighting Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson next,” Jones told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Thursday. “I’m not allowed to discuss the date because I didn’t sign a contract, but yeah, it will be very soon.”

A separate report from MMA Mania claims the title showdown could go down at UFC 135 on September 24 in Denver, but “obstacles” exist, namely Rampage’s hand injury.

Jon Jones is apparently close to making his return to action to defend his light heavyweight title for the first time, as he may be penciled in to battle Quinton Jackson at the upcoming UFC 135 event, which is currently rumored for Sept. 24 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

A source close to one of the fight camps alerted MMAmania.com to the news earlier today, but stressed that obstacles exist. Jones, who is still resting a hand injury, must first be cleared by his physician before getting the green light to compete.

As of now, Rampage is on a 6-month medical suspension for his hand, but he can be cleared by a orthopedic doctor before then. It’s unclear if his hand has been examined as of yet.

What’s ironic about this situation is Rashad Evans was awarded his title shot for beating Rampage Jackson last year, but thanks to an improbable series of injuries, it may very well be Rampage who winds up with the chance to get his “belt back” first.