It's been five long years since Quinton "Rampage" Jackson fought now UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in Pride Fighting Championships, but the Memphis fighter admits that loss still haunts him to this day.
As Jackson prepares for his long awaited showdown with rival Rashad Evans, the looming prize for the winner beyond ultimate bragging rights is a shot at Shogun's newly polished 205-pound title belt. The last time Rampage crossed paths with Shogun was in 2005 and it ended with a devastating series of knees from the Brazilian, finished up with a few soccer kicks for good measure.
Rampage has his mind on Rashad right now, but believes that the stars are aligned perfectly for him to get a second shot at Shogun when this fight is finished.
"I feel like the universe is opened up for me right now. It seems like it's my time," said Rampage. "Cause that Shogun fight actually does haunt me ever since then. I never even should have took the fight. Going into the fight I was already injured. It was one of those things it taught me a mean lesson."
Admitting the mistakes he made ever taking that fight, Jackson knows that it wasn't a good choice to face Shogun back then, but it was definitely a learning experience.
"I was young, I was a kid, full of myself. I felt like Shogun he ain't never fought nobody, he can't hurt me. I can still take this fight even though I was injured cause I was all about making that money, and it ended up costing me," he recounted.
The result of that fight still incites Jackson's ire, as put on display on Tuesday during a media conference call in which opponent Rashad Evans answered Rampage's claims that he was talking trash during his fight with Lyoto Machida, even though he got knocked out.
Evan's quickly bounced back at Rampage and barked about the Shogun fight.
"At least I won't quit, like you did when you was going against Shogun," Rashad shouted. "You quit, just laying there like a little sucker in the corner."
It's those kinds of comments, Jackson says, that motivate him even more for this fight, and after finishing Evans he plans on gunning for Shogun in every way.
"Even now, Rashad talking bad about it, it makes me, I can't explain how it makes me feel. It makes me want to put a hurting on Rashad, and then go put a hurting on Shogun right after," said Jackson.
"I'm so fired up and so motivated."
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