Now that “Rampage” Jackson has returned to the UFC and has recorded his fourth straight victory, the former light-heavyweight champ clearly has another title shot run in mind.
If you missed UFC 186 last night, then you didn’t see Jackson out strike the ridiculously tough, Fabio Maldonado for three rounds, and earn a unanimous decision victory. Jackson may have gassed a bit during the fight, which is understandable considering what’s unfolded recently, but he showcased a diverse striking game and hit Maldonado with a lot of hard shots. The latter, as noted, just doesn’t go away too easily.
So, what does the 36 year-old fighter have planned for his latest run in the UFC? While speaking at the post fight presser, here is what Jackson had to say about his short term aspirations (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“Honestly, I want to come back and beat everybody that beat me,” Jackson said. “I want to fight (Mauricio) ‘Shogun’ (Rua), Rashad (Evans), Glover (Teixeira), and make my way back up to Jon (Jones). That’s the honest truth.”
How about that? While most of the men he mentioned defeated him in recent years, Rua stopped Jackson way, way back in 2005. It’s also interesting to hear him say he wants to face Jones, who submitted Jackson back in 2011. Obviously Jackson’s confidence is riding pretty high, and there’s no doubt he’s looked good in his last four bouts. When he exited from the UFC in 2013, Jackson had lost three in a row.
But, at this stage, does he have what it takes to go through the likes of Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson, Evans, or Teixeira etc to get back to Jones? Guess we’ll find out. It will also be interesting to see where the media places Jackson in the UFC’s 205 rankings, following Saturday’s win.
UFC 186 went down at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.