(They were so much in love. VidProps: YouTube.)
With just a few hours left before they actually climb into the cage, there is not much more to say about the UFC 114 bout between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans that hasn’t already been written and rewritten by MMA scribes, or said by the fighters themselves. Said, and then repeated … then repeated again while standing uncomfortably close to each other. Indeed, after wasting so much of our time with their ridiculous (and repetitive) trash talk during the past few months, these two dudes better fucking bring it tonight.
Instead of adding to the mountainous pile of terrible clichés already being used to describe this fight – i.e. “it’s time to let their fists do the talking!” as the radio ad airing in my town declares — as a final look at this odd coupling, I offer just a few numbers that characterize each man’s career up to this point.
They say numbers don’t lie, after all …
21 – Approximate number of times (combined) the two fighters repeat themselves during the one minute, 36 second video at top. In fact, repeating the same words over and over again has perhaps been the defining characteristic of the Rampage vs. Rashad feud. Not surprising, considering Jackson has been repeating the same “bad breath” jokes and tired catch phrases for, oh, about a decade now.
168 – Length in days of the delay caused by Jackson’s “retirement” in scheduling this fight. The pair was originally slated to meet at UFC 107 on Dec. 12, 2009.
2 – Number of common opponents shared by Jackson and Evans after 53 combined professional fights: Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. Evans defeated both. Jackson has beaten Liddell twice, but lost to Griffin at UFC 86.
5,279.12 – Distance in miles between Jackson’s home in Irvine, Calif. and Widnes, United Kingdom, location of the Wolfslair Academy, where he now trains. After a 14-month layoff, Jackson’s physical fitness and general preparedness could both be key in this match-up, especially now that he works full-time with a team without anyone who can truly push him. Meanwhile, Evans did most of his homework at MMA’s new it facility, Grudge Training Center in Colorado. So you know he’ll be ready.
406 – Length in days of Jackson’s UFC light heavyweight title reign. From May 26, 2007-July 5, 2008.
147 – Length in days spent by Evans as UFC light heavyweight champion, from December 27, 2008-May 23, 2009. It was the shortest 205-pound title reign in UFC history.
29.7 – Percentage of Jackson’s professional fights that have gone to decision (11- of-37).
2 – Number of those decisions lost by Jackson.
46.6 – Percentage of Evans’ professional fights that have gone to decision (7-of-15).
0 – Number of those decisions lost by Evans.
10-1 – Professional MMA record of Rampage Jackson when he debuted for Pride Fighting Championships on July 29, 2001.
5-11-1 – Total combined record of Jackson’s 11 opponents up to that point. Five of those opponents faced Rampage in their first-ever MMA fight. In his Pride debut, Jackson lost to Kazushi Sakuraba by rear naked choke after five minutes, 41 seconds of fighting. Sakuraba’s MMA record headed into that fight was 12-3-1, plus one no contest.
26-13-1 – Sakuraba’s record as of Saturday morning, after he lost to Ralek Gracie via decision at Dream.14 the night before.
24 – Total number of fights in Jackson’s career before April 10, 2004, the night Evans made his professional debut. Evans defeated Dennis Reed by submission 50 seconds into the first round at a DangerZone show in Osceola, Iowa.
14-1-1 – Official record of Rashad Evans, according to Sherdog.com fight finder.
19-1-1 – Official record of Rashad Evans according to his UFC.com profile. This record includes two amateur fights as well as Evans’ three exhibition victories while competing on season two of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
812 – Length in days between stoppage victories for Evans after he defeated Brian Pardoe by first-round TKO at Gladiator Challenge on June 2, 2004. Evans won his next five fights by decision before knocking out Jason Lambert at UFC 63 on August 23, 2006. This stretch includes the calendar year of 2005, when Evans only fought one regulation bout due to his appearance on “TUF.”
325,000 – Amount in dollars of disclosed salary paid to Jackson after his defeat of Wanderlei Silva at UFC 92. Figure does not include $60,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus.
130,000 – Amount in dollars of disclosed salary paid to Evans at the same event, after he beat Forrest Griffin to capture the UFC light heavyweight title. Figure does not include $60,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus.
4,000 – Amount in dollars of disclosed salary paid to undercard fighter Dan Evensen at UFC 92, after he succumbed to Pat Barry’s legs kicks 2:36 into the first round. No bonus awarded.
4 – Number of post-fight bonuses awarded to Jackson in six UFC appearances.
3 – Number of post-fight bonuses awarded to Evans in 11 UFC appearances.
72 – Hours spent in jail by Rampage Jackson after leading police on a chase down the 55-Freeway in California 10 days after losing his belt to Forrest Griffin.
6 – Number of criminal charges filed against Jackson as a result of the chase: Two felonies and four misdemeanors. As part of a plea agreement, Jackson later pleaded guilty to one felony count of evading a police officer and one misdemeanor count of reckless driving. Those charges were dismissed after he completed 200 hours of community service and complied with other terms of the agreement.
6 – Number of fights left on a new UFC contract signed by Rampage Jackson on March 24, 2010.
3 – Number of male offspring fathered by Rampage Jackson who have the legal middle name “Rampage.”
5 – Hours until the scheduled start of UFC 114, as of this writing.