The UFC was pretty bullish about pushing through Mir / Lesnar 2 at UFC 98, despite the fact that Mir told them he was getting his knee worked on. Now with that idea shot down, Dana has moved on to putting the pressure on Quinton Jackson to fill in that date:
“Damn,” Jackson said. “I’ll do anything for [UFC president] Dana [White]. I had plans to go on a vacation and find an Asian girl and fly first class, stay in a hut and tell her how I was going to win the light heavyweight title. Now it looks like I have to get my ass back to England to train in two weeks.”
In reality, Jackson is going to have to assess his condition and then decide whether or not he’s going to take the fight, a decision that he and White indicated he would probably make toward the end of this week. It would be his third fight in five months. If not, undefeated Lyoto Machida, who has already accepted the fight, will face Evans on May 23.
Jackson didn’t act enthusiastic about the timing, and said he’d have to speak to his management about the switch in dates. He said it was most likely he would take the fight.
Since then a banner went up on UFC.com announcing Evans / Jackson and then went back down. Mentions of overtraining, a damaged hand, elbow injuries, and something to do with Rampage’s jaw have all surfaced as potential fight-spoilers. And always waiting in the wings is Lyoto Machida, who has already agreed to take the fight if Rampage won’t.
So right now all rational signs point to Rampage turning down the fight. But who knows … maybe the upside to Jackson being a nut is that he’ll take the fight despite the laundry list of reasons not to. It may not be the best / safest decision for his career, but I’d personally be very happy if things worked out that way.