Yes, it’s been a few days now since the UFC announced that it’s re-signed Jackson, but it remains to be seen when the former light-heavyweight champ will make his return. Following the announcement, Jackson has talked about his desire to avenge previous losses to the likes of “Shogun” Rua and Jon Jones, but Maldonado is clearly pretty eager to face the decorated vet,
While speaking to MMA Fighting.com recently, here is some of what Maldanado had to say about “Rampage”, and his desire to face him.
“I think this fight is interesting not only for me, but for a lot of people. It’s an exciting match-up,” Maldonado said. “He has better wrestling and I have a better jiu-jitsu, and we both like to brawl. It would be a fun fight to watch, and you don’t know what to expect. I think it’s a good fight.”
“I’m sure ‘Rampage’ will stand and trade punches with me,” he continued. “He’s dangerous. He knocked out a guy that I couldn’t finish, a guy that I won a close split decision. I’m sure he’ll stand with me. He won’t shy away from a brawl. His hands can knock anyone out in the UFC.”
Chances are Jackson-Maldonado would make for a pretty exciting fight, and although the latter isn’t a household name, he is currently ranked #13 at 205. That said, the UFC may look to book Jackson against a more established vet or former champ. It just depends on what kind of matchmaking strategy they employ for the 36 year-old fighter. Jackson-Rua, for example, would certainly move some tickets in North America or in Brazil.
Maldonado (22-7) is coming off a second round, stoppage win over Hans Stringer in October, after he was quickly taken out by Stipe Miocic in May. The Brazilian fighter is 4-1 in his last 5 fights.
Jackson (35-11), on the other hand, has scored wins over Joey Beltran, Christian M’Pumbu and “King Mo” Lawal in his last three fights, after dropping three straight before he left the UFC last year.