Although most mixed martial arts fans are looking forward to a matchup between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, most agree Sonnen did not deserve a title shot.
Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Quinton (Rampage) Jackson believes Sonnen talked his way into the fight but it won’t help him once he’s in the Octagon.
“His mouth gets him fights. Chael’s mouth gets his ass in trouble,” Jackson told Bas Rutten on Inside MMA. “The dude is exciting for like two minutes and then you just want to turn down the volume like, ‘dude what are you talking about?’”
Jackson, who was submitted by Jones at UFC 135, doesn’t believe Sonnen has the skills to compete with the young champion.
“He’s a great wrestler and that’s all I’m going to say because everything else sucks,” Jackson expressed. “He can’t punch hard — look what he did to Anderson Silva. He did a great job holding him down, making a boring fight out of a decorated champion for five rounds … and then after the fight I see Anderson Silva didn’t have a mark on him. He’s weak.”
Sonnen’s ability to trash talk has been a hot topic in MMA for the past few years and certain fighters think it’s good for business.
Another former champ — and trash talking aficionado — Tito Ortiz said: “Trash talking is great for the sport. It makes fans either hate you or love you, but they’re going to talk about you. (Sonnen has) been running with it and it works well. You even make a little more money out of the deal as well. I think trash talk is great for the sport as long as you can back it up.”
Jackson has never been one to censor himself, but added that Sonnen takes his talk too far from time to time.
“I agree with Tito. I talk trash, but the thing is I talk trash about people who I’m actually going to fight who’s actually in my weight class,” Rampage explained. “This guy’s talking trash about ring girls, people that’s not even in his weight class, he’s talking trash about the president, he’ll talk trash about anybody. Now that’s a little bit too much. Very disrespectful.”
The two don’t come into contact often, but if they do Jackson says Sonnen — who has verbally targeted Jackson in the past — might have to watch what he says.
“Now, I don’t like the guy from the stuff he said about me last time — I like joking around as much as anybody, but if I see Chael Sonnen and he says anything to my face I don’t know if I’m gonna smack him or not. I don’t know because I don’t like the guy.”
Rampage recently opened up two fitness centres in California — one in Mission Viejo and the other in Temecula — and is back to training hard after suffering an injury in the summer.
Jackson pulled out of a scheduled UFC 153 bout with Glover Teixeira and says the reason he pulled out of the fight was because he dislocated his ankle and had an inflamed elbow. At UFC 144 in February Jackson was beaten by Ryan Bader and after the fight he said he fought injured.
“Me losing my last fight due to an injury to such a weak opponent like Ryan Bader, I’ve got an excuse for every loss I have, but you could tell I was injured. Me losing to a guy like Ryan Bader has really lit a fire up under my ass. Now I’m staying in shape, I’m training all the time,” explained Jackson. “Since my last fight I lost to an injury, I’m not fighting injured anymore.”
Jackson’s next fight will be the last one on his current contract and he says it will be his last in the UFC.
“The UFC’s a great company, they’re doing great things for the sport, but I just feel like they’re doing great things for me.”
Although nothing is official, it is expected that the matchup with Teixeira will be set up again.
“I want to see what else is out there; I want to see if the grass is greener on the other side. I want to see. This is the last fight on my contract and I’m going to destroy Glover.
Rampage wasn’t overly impressed with Teixeira in his last outing but had some complementary words for the Brazilian.
“I think he did a great job against a guy who took the fight on three weeks’ notice … Glover’s a tough guy, I like his fighting style. He’s a jiu-jitsu guy but he goes for it and throws them things. I respect fighters like him. I think the UFC and MMA need more fighters like him because you get fighters like Chael Sonnen ruining the sport.