Join the Inside Fights staff as we break down tonight’s main event between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Jon Jones!
Chris Roberts: I’ll be very surprised if we don’t all decide to take the safe and easy Jon Jones route here though that doesn’t mean that the fight won’t be a hoot to watch. More than anything it should stand as a referendum on Rampage Jackson’s supposed toughness. Just like everybody else I want to see what happens when one of Jones’ spinning back elbows clanks off the side of Jackson’s noggin. I’ll be nice and give him the benefit of the doubt and predict that he makes it a full 25 minutes even though the last couple rounds might not be a pretty sight. Unless Jones’ chin is far softer than we ever imagined I think he’ll take the bout via the judges.
Scott Sawitz: This fight leaves me in a dilemma. I’ve been preaching to everyone I know about Jon Jones since he came into the UFC and I have a special place in my heart for Rampage. And I wrote a piece for Fox on how Rampage can win, as well, so I’m a bit stuck. On the one hand the old MMA fan in me wants to see Rampage connect with a big hook and put down the young upstart. But I was with Bones when no one else was and I have to stay with my guy; Jones is going to use that reach to make Rampage do something stupid, then throw him down and elbow a new hole in his face. Jones 3rd round TKO.
Skully Williams: All the hype and drama leading up to UFC 135’s main event comes to a boiling point tomorrow night. The always entertaining Quinton Jackson will be looking to snatch the light heavyweight belt from a champion who some feel represents the future combat sports. Jon Jones has youth, speed and superior skills on his side and Rampage will want to take him into the later rounds for a chance to land a knock out blow. I just don’t see Jon Jones opening that door for the former champ so my prediction is Jon Jones winning by a unanimous decision.
Jon Kirschner: Tonight is a story of “evolution”. In one corner, you have Quinton “Rampage” Jackson who seems to be favoring the smart-strategy part of fighting more than swinging for the fences and getting the knockout. His last two bouts against Machida and Hamill displayed an intelligent “Rampage”, which is the “Rampage” he needs to be when he walks into the octagon against Jon Jones. In the other corner, you have the ever-evolving Jon Jones. Every time I watch this kid fight, he adds another dimension to his offense that just blows me away. While I do think that Rampage has a chance at winning tonight, it’s hard to go against Jon Jones. Jon Jones will defeat Quinton Jackson in the 2nd Round via. TKO.
Matthew Schuerman: Dynamic Vs. Pure Power. Youth Vs. Experience. New Guard Vs. Old Guard. All ways to explain this weekend’s fight. Jon Jones is the most dynamic fighter we have ever seen, and he has decimated every opponent on his way to the Light Heavyweight title. Rampage Jackson defines the old guard with his power punching and giant slams taking precedence over a brilliant ground game and really an overall game. But in no way should we discount Rampage in this fight. He has what many like to call a puncher’s chance, and I would tend to agree. Rampage catches him with a big punch in the second to take the Light Heavyweight title again.
Luke Cho Yee: I think this contest will be closer then many people believe and we will see the best ‘Rampage’ Jackson since before embarking on his Hollywood career. He looks motivated again and hungry to reclaim ‘his title’, but though he certainly has the punching power to topple any foe, will that be enough when facing a Jon Jones who is not only undefeated (DQ withstanding) but has destroyed all of opponents with an apparent ease? I think not, as the one dimensional Jackson has little more then a punchers chance. You can never discount a fighter the calibre of ‘Rampage’ but he does not have the skill-set to get the job done and will be dismantled slowly but surely by the young Champion who will be far to dynamic on the feet, forcing a late stoppage in round 4.
Shawn M. Smith: Funny how UFC is trying to portray this fight as a battle of “generations,” but in truth, it’s a battle of a terribly young champion and a fighter in his prime. Yes, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson “isn’t the fighter that he used to be,” but that’s a good thing. He doesn’t take unnecessary risks and since he’s come into this fight 7-2 in UFC with losses by Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans. That’s not a man who is “past his prime.” Jones might be too much for a lot of other fighters, but Rampage is the type of fighter that won’t be impressed by Jones’ reach and seeming invincibility. When Rampage connects and puts Jones down, we’ll see what the kid is made of. I want to buck the trend and say that Rampage will put Jones out in round 2, so long as he’s learned how to check a leg kick.