Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Evans and Jackson Altercation At UFC Photo Shoot
While UFC light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans might be focused on challenger Lyoto Machida, by no means has he forgotten about Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
He says the two nearly came to blows at a recent UFC photo shoot.
Some intrepid UFC staffers booked them on the same day, and things got ugly for a spell.
"I looked at him and he walked out of the room," Evans told MMAInsider. "He was like, 'that's messed up putting us together.' They tried to separate us, and the UFC walked him out in the hallway and walked me out in the hallway. And they walked me into the same hallway he was at.
"I looked at him and I was like, what, man? He was like, 'Rashad don't talk to me, man! Don't talk to me! Don't say nothin' to me! You don't know me! You don't know me!' The (expletive) I need to know you for?"
Eventually, cooler heads prevailed, and the photo shoot went on. But Evans filed it in the motivation bank for later.
Following UFC 96, the two went nose-to-nose for forty heated seconds to hype a future showdown.
Later, Jackson bowed out of a quick turnaround meeting with the champ at UFC 98, citing jaw surgery that would make him unavailable.
Many fans wrote the encounter and its aftermath off as hype, part of the business of promoting. Evans maintains it was all real.
"(My camp) was laughing about it, but I was pissed," he said. "I felt mad because I felt like he disrespected Keith a little bit. Keith tried his ass off and he had a good fight, and Rampage didn't look all that good to be acting like he killed him or something. I just didn't like that. Whenever you invest in any of your partners, and when it doesn't turn around the way you want it to turn out, it kind of hurts your feelings a little bit. And that's what happened."
Before 96, he says he got along fine with the former champ, which takes him away from all-out hatred. He's happy to face challenger Lyoto Machida on May 23rd, but looks forward to the day he can squash the recent animosity with Rampage.
"I don't dislike him, but I really want to whup his ass, you know what I'm saying?" Evans said. "I don't know where that falls. I like Quinton. He's a funny guy, and a great person, but I really want to beat his ass. Is that too much of a hypocrisy?"