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Rampage’s next opponent – undetermined. Or is it?

By Gary Herman

After UFC 78, Dana White was very non-committal over who light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson would be fighting next. White did eliminate one person:

“It won’t be Rashad (Evans) that faces Rampage,” White said.

However, White did not stop there when discussing Jackson. While not releasing any names, White said:

“We have big plans for Jackson’s next fight.”

Obviously, that comment will lead to a lot of rumors on who Jackson would be in the cage against next. If you look down the roster, there may not be a fighter that would meet the description of “big plans”. Here are some possibilities:

Forrest Griffin? While it would be a popular match-up, it just doesn’t seem major enough.

Keith Jardine? See Forrest Griffin.

Wanderlei Silva? Chuck Liddell? They’ll be a little busy over the next month or so.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua? Houston Alexander? Both coming off dominating losses.

That doesn’t leave too many guys in the UFC light heavyweight division that would be in-line for a credible title shot more less a major title shot.

I’m going to throw out a name now, and please remember – it is pure speculation only.

Randy Couture

Huh? Couture? How?

  • Well, as Dana White has made public knowledge, he and Couture will be meeting sometime soon. I don’t think they’ll be discussing what to have for lunch. They will be discussing if there is a way to salvage their dwindling relationship and find a way to get Couture back in the UFC. In fact, there are reports that the two even spoke briefly over the weekend.
  • With negotiations failed, finished and over with Fedor Emelianenko, Couture would need an opponent that would – as Couture says – get his “juices flowing.” As much as much as hardcore fans appreciate Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, a Couture vs. Nogueira fight has nowhere near the same mass appeal as Couture vs. Jackson.
  • Couture’s last two losses came at the hands of Chuck Liddell. What better way to avenge those losses than to beat the man that beat Liddell?
  • A victory over Jackson would give Couture title belts in two weight classes at the same time – something no other fighter has ever done. Couture’s legend would continue to grow.
  • The money for the fight and the buy-rates for the fight could be astronomical. The match-up could set the record for the most MMA pay-per-view buys ever.

A Randy Couture vs. Rampage Jackson fight is nowhere near a done deal. In fact, there is no concrete reason to believe it has even been discussed. However, reading between the lines – there definitely are some clues that this could be the direction both Dana White and Randy Couture want to go. What a tremendous match-up for mixed martial arts this would be.

  • Mike Rome says:

    I wish this were all true, but I think it’s just a coaching stint on TUF with Forrest. Forrest/Rampage is pretty much the biggest fight the UFC has right now, I think it’s major enough. You way underestimate Forrest’s star power, the man was a god at UFC 76 live.

  • Adam Morgan says:

    Dan Henderson is actually the first person to hold two belts in different weight classes at the same time.

    Rampage/Couture would be a dream matchup but also very risky for the UFC. Nowhere near a guaranteed win. In fact, it would be another fight where Randy is the heavy underdog.

  • Rln says:

    Lol @ this “article”. It’s rife with TUF noobness and grammatical errors. For the love of MMA, please don’t give up your day job dude.

  • shoutfan says:

    It all makes sense. This would be the biggest fight in mixed martial arts history!

  • Adam – for the two title belts, I was referring to holding two UFC title belts at the same time.

    Again, the article is pure speculation and is noted as such. If Couture comes back, I just don’t think a fight with Noguiera would get him going enough.

    R1n – Glad you read the story and commented.

    Mike – I do think the suggestion of Forrest – Rampage from a TUF season is a good one and a definite possibility, but the timing just seems off. I don’t know the full extent of Rampage’s injury, but I doubt that he’ll be out of action till next spring/summer at the earliest.

    The UFC seemed to shoot themselves in the foot by holding Serra off for so long (wouldn’t Serra vs Hughes have made perfect sense for UFC 78 in New Jersey?). Keeping Rampage out of the cage for that long (if he is indeed healthy enough to fight) could cause a similar main event scheduling problem. But Rampage & Griffin as coaches would be excellent.

  • dice says:

    “We have big plans for Jackson’s next fight.”

    In Danaspeak that could mean everyone of those guys you listed in your article. Jardine? yep. Griffin? yep, pretty much anyone coming off of a victory at 205 is included when Dana says he has “big plans”.

    I think it will be Griffin and I think Dana would consider this to be a “big plan” for Jackson. But there is no reading between the lines when it comes to some vague Dana White comment; what he thinks might be big is not what I or others consider “big”. He is going to sell every PPV like its the biggest and best event ever put on by the UFC (did you hear his reaction to people calling UFC 78 a weak card ? LOL). Fact is the division is in shambles (as you described correctly) and this makes it very hard to generate excitement for an upcoming Jackson bout.

    ps Also don’t think for a second that Wanderlei is ruled out just because he is fighting in Dec. If he wins and comes out injury free, I think the UFC would give him the next title shot. Remember dana has shown that he can put title shots off for as long as he likes (it will be more than 8 months since Serra has fought, and I have no doubt Dana would love to use Rampage for TUF 6, who seems to be made for TV)

  • Sam Cupitt says:

    I’m kinda against Forrest being a coach on TUF if that indeed happens. He just still seems he’s more of a student than a teacher and I’d much prefer the coaches to be Wanderlei and Rampage. Wanderlei’s english is decent and you could go for a Brazil v America angle.

  • Zurich says:

    Uh, are you kidding me? No…. what’s with the random unfounded speculation post? I won’t be rude, but this kind of stuff is beneath 5oz of Pain.

  • MoreThanUFC says:

    See posts posts 3 and 8. Both pretty long term posters here at 5oz. I agree completely. Couture makes sense to you? Umm, the guy is holding up the entire HW division, and you think Dana is gonna risk him holding two belts and screwing up two divisions? You need your head examined, stop attempting to write about a sport you know little about, and watch MMA for awhile in the silence of your home.

  • Sam Cupitt says:

    Woah no love for Gary. Did you wrong these people in some way?

    MoreThanUFC, feel free to state your opinion but you can do so without denouncing the writer’s credibility or knowledge.

  • WarGod says:

    That would be a great, great matchup. Dana’s done a lot of things that nobody expected – and Randy is a cornerstone of the UFC. Why not give him a fight that will get him excited? Fedor isn’t in the cards anymore and who else is there?

    Great idea, Sam. I hope it turns out to be more than wishful thinking!

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Sam Cupitt, I agree with you. But that’s just MoreThanUFC’s M.O. He can’t disagree with someone without being abrasive. It’s real annoying at this point and I’d rather him not post if he feels it necessary to insult the staff of this site.

    I’m all for open debate and disagreements on this site, so long as everyone is respectful to the contributors of 5 Oz. who are responsible for the content.

    The idea of Rampage vs. Couture is not far-fetched in the slightest. Is it out of the box thinking? Sure. But why beat Gary up for thinking out of the box?

    If Couture only has one, possibly two, big matches left in him, the UFC might as well swing for the fences if they can get him to agree to return.

    And when has the UFC in recent history shown to be protective of their belts? How long has the WW title been put on ice because reality TV was a higher priority? And don’t even get me started on the lightweight division.

    Have you even considered the possibility that Randy may drop the title regardless?

    Dana is already hyping the caliber of big matchups we’ll see in ’08. Couture vs. Rampage is one of the biggest they can offer. It would be bigger than Couture vs. Nogueira and bigger than Rampage vs. Forrest — not that I wouldn’t mind seeing either fight.

    Also, not that Gary needs me to defend him, but his credentials are as strong as anyone’s. He writes for, one of the top boxing and MMA sites around. 15rounds has a content partnership with Gary is also a contributing writer for and covers many events live for CBS. In fact, he was at the Prudential Center for UFC 78.

  • Kelvin says:

    I do not want to see Couture/Rampage for the following reasons.

    #1. Couture still has Big Nog to fight as a HW.
    #2. The possibility of him(Couture) having the HW/LHW belts simultaneously would throw everything outta wack.
    #3. Rampage vs. Forrest Griffin would do decent numbers.

  • Rln says:

    “Is it out of the box thinking? Sure. But why beat Gary up for thinking out of the box?”

    It’s so far out of the box that it is on an entirely different planet. A planet devoid of any air and inhabited by Larry Merchant, Jordan Breen and Moshgirl.

    D. White’s official response to the notion: Are you fucking kidding me?

  • Evan says:


    Good read and I am not sure why some of you think this is so crazy.

  • Dayzah says:

    This seems really far fetched ..

    I would agree with the majority that this is pretty idiotic , But for the obvious reasons like Jackson just beat Henderson pretty easy and hes a great wrestler with good striking too .. Couture doesnt have the same kinda striking , he can box yes but he doesnt have the KO power Henderson has ..

    They would be setting Couture up for a loss , also cutting weight at 45 cant be easy.

  • ossBASHA says:

    I’d love to see it.

    But, how about we speculate on someone who actually AGREES to fight in UFC?

  • EM_07 says:

    i think Rampage/Forrest will be coaches on the next TUF , they are both recovering from injuries so they can do TUF while they heal up and then fight , seems thats what the ufc will do to me.

  • Zack says:

    I think the suggestion is a bit farfetched but there’s no need for the Sherdoggery (ie bitter personal attacks)

    It was inevitable that the site would start to attract that element. It’s a sign of success for you guys.

  • Dizzle says:

    the winner of lidell and silva will fight rampage for the title.

    plain and simple my friends.

  • Evan says:

    Spot on Zack

    It would seem that nobody complains and attacks people more than MMA fans. I don’t get it. Any sort of MMA open forum can turn into crazy stream of insane attacks. Especially Sherdog.

  • Just to clarify my source for the story:

    – UFC 78 Press Conference. The entry is based on comments made to the entire press as well as comments made to me personally in a one-on-one interview with Dana White.

    I am not simply cribbing stuff from other interviews and trying to create something. The story is speculation (as noted multiple times), but it is based on a direct conversation with Dana White.

    As always – we appreciate the feedback.

  • Tre says:

    Good article. Rampage/Couture would certainly be a great matchup although I would prefer that he stay at heavyweight. IMO it would put the title defense too far off, which is unfair to the current contenders.

  • makeutapout says:

    The idea’s a bit out there, but still a possibility. When people start going off about noobs and crap, they tend to be noobs themselves. I’ve been watching MMA for many years and I think it could be a great idea for DW to try to put this together. It has the potential of ending the PR problems this situation has caused and making them a mint. I don’t think that’s what DW has in mind, but it’s not something keyboard commandos need to bash this guy for.

    Oh and sam cupitt, I like your idea in post #7. that would be a damn good TUF IMO as well.

  • […] Jackson also sitting on the sidelines while healing from a hand injury there has been speculation that Couture could agree to a bout against Jackson in […]

  • drew says:

    Dana made fun of the whole “belt in two divisions thing” so unless he’s a hypocrite it’s not happeneing.

  • The Phantom says:

    I can tell you that this will not happen. Nice idea but not going to happen. There is only one fight in Randy’s future, Fedor (whether in the UFC or not). Watch and see…..

  • Justin Rampage says:

    Fuck all you motherfuckers you cok sucking Ass Bandits. Rammmmmmmmmppppaaaaaaaaggggee is the best and kick any motherfuckers Ass he knocked chuck out with a slap and out played henderson in the ground game and stand up bring any motherfucker hes ready for any one i been to a couple of his training sessions and boy can he bang. Theres a few named fighters out there Rua, Wanderlei, Forrest, Jardine, but not liddell i have respect for the Bum but i think his Past it the shock result was from rampage coming all thr way from pride in to the UFC and knocking him the fuck out. Then if he wanted success he would have beaten Jardine, and even he kicked his Ass


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