So here’s a mental challenge that fighters face: what do you tell yourself when you’re about to fight a guy who recently beat someone who absolutely demolished you? That’s the situation “Rampage” Jackson is in as he prepares to face Forrest Griffin, who beat Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, who nearly kicked Jackson’s head into the fifth row of the Osaka Dome.
Fortunately for “Rampage”, there are any number of variables he can point to in order to distinguish the “Shogun” he fought from the one Griffin beat. And that’s exactly what he does in this interview with Gary Herman:
I didn’t even watch that fight on tape yet. I was there, but that fight didn’t impress me much. Shogun wasn’t the same. If I watch that fight and try to go off that fight, I’d be misled because Shogun wasn’t 100%. If Shogun was 100% and fights like he normally fights, that would be the fight to watch. Heck, Shogun’s girlfriend could have beat him that night.
Things happen. I think Shogun took the fight with Forrest because he needed it. I don’t think he should have taken the fight on such short notice. I’m a fighter. I can tell how the fighter fought in the past and how they are fighting on that day. I could tell something was up with Shogun that he was hurt.
Valid points from “Rampage”. Makes you wonder, though. If the “Shogun” that Forrest beat was but a shadow of his former self, what about the “Rampage” that “Shogun” beat? Maybe Griffin should watch that fight and see what he can learn. Minus the soccer kicks, of course.