An overview of the Rampage-Machida fight at UFC 123, and how it happened.
When it was announced that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson would face Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida at UFC 123, I felt a swarm of mixed reactions inside myself.
The first reaction was a feeling of pure excitement and overwhelming anticipation, because Rampage and Machida were finally going to fight one another in a Light Heavyweight dream fight that people have been getting wet, hot, and bothered about since Machida beat "Suga" Rashad Evans for the UFC Light Heavyweight title at UFC 98.
That same feeling of anticipation was quickly followed by that second emotion, which was that "It's ABOUT F*CKING TIME!" feeling because, to be honest, the fight was going to happen after it seemed like it wouldn't at all.
Rampage caused a mess of chaos once he recuperated from the injury that forced him out of the UFC 98 bout, thus entering Machida in.
Many thought Rampage would get first crack at Machida despite the impressive performance Mauricio "Shogun" Rua put on against Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell at UFC 97.
Turns out Rampage really wanted to settle the score with Evans first, so Shogun got the shot, and we all know how that turned out.
Now Rampage's legendary power and slams meet Machida Karate at long last, but I can't help but see the obvious similarity between this main event and Rampage's bout with Evans.at UFC 114.
This fight, much like Rampage-Evans, was supposed to happen a while back and would've happened had certain circumstances not have gotten in the way.
The only major difference, aside from the fact that this will see Rampage stand across the cage from a fabled member of the Black House family for the first time in his career, is that Rampage and Machida don't have any real animosity towards each other.
Then again, i can't ever remember Machida ever having a pure hatred for an opponent at all.
The only real ounce of trash talk was just Rampage saying that he's coming out there to fight and that Machida needs to come out ready to fight him.
The meanest thing Machida ever said about an opponent:
"Rashad [Evans] can't defend my style. No one can."
Shogun of course never got the message, but how can we be so sure that Rampage hasn't either?
Remember, the last time Rampage fought someone who he really wanted to hurt, he got rocked in the first round and was controlled for all but one portion of the fight.
Can Machida do the same?
If he can defend the strength and power -- and takedown ability -- of Rampage, I say that it could be deja vu all over again.