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Rampage/Rashad Not a Done Deal Yet + More Notes from the UFC 96 Press Conference

(‘You…just ruined my vacation, Frank Mir.’)

Despite the heat generated by the post-fight face-off between "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans, the proposed title bout for UFC 98 in May isn’t guaranteed just yet.  Dana White was upfront about the possibility that injury or simple fatigue could keep Jackson out of the fight, in which case Lyoto Machida would get the title shot.

Injuries or not, Rampage didn’t exactly sound thrilled about fighting again in just a little over two months.

"I want my belt back, but I got to talk to manager and talk some things though.  Then I’ll tell Dana what’s up," he said.

If he does take the title fight, Jackson acknowledged that it would ruin plans he had for some time off, saying that after being told of the Evans fight as a replacement for Frank Mir/Brock Lesnar at UFC 98 he immediately thought, "most likely my black ass is going to be up in the mountains training again in like two weeks.”

He also said he’d had plans to take an island getaway with a female Asian friend yet to be determined but now "all of that shattered because somebody got they damn knee ‘scoped.”

- In other news to come out of the press conference, White seemed very impressed with Shane Carwin‘s performance, saying, "Beating Gonzaga and beating him the way he did, I don’t think there’s anyone he can’t fight in the UFC."

- White said Mark Munoz was doing fine after the initial scare following his knockout loss to Matt Hamill, but said, "Pete Sell is the one I’m worried about," adding that he sent Sell to the hospital.

- On the subject of the bizarre fight between Sell and Matt Brown, White said, "I couldn’t believe what I was seeing," with regards to referee Yves Lavigne allowing the bout to continue.  He said was hurt his arm banging on the side of the Octagon and screaming for the fight to be stopped — a first for him.

- As for the referee troubles on the night, White said: "I hate dogging refs because I know they have a hard job. …There’s a few guys out there who are good and a lot of guys who aren’t."

- When asked about nixing Tamdan McCrory‘s music choice, White copped to it and explained, "I let them all pick their music and then I go back and change it if I don’t like it."  One choice he originally wanted to change was Matt Hamill’s entrance to "Hang On, Sloopy," but he decided to allow it when someone explained the significance for Ohio State fans.  See?  I’m not the only one who didn’t know that.

Cagepotato Comments

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TwentyFour- March 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm
These sweeping generalisations of the ideal ref-ing people would like to see are lame.
There are those which are too soon and the occasional one that goes on too long, but don't exaggerate the severity of the consequences of late referee interventions.
There have been some barbaric beat-downs of late that were never at the risk of stoppage - Kos on Lytle for example. The damage done in a fight like Matt Brown vs. Pete Sell between the initial referee involvement and the close is not worth bitching about, as it isn't even close to the damage caused in a fight like Kos/Lyle. One of those types of contests is more risky from an injury leading to bad publicity perspective.

On a side point - the boxing in the UK this evening had a contest in which a Latvian guy with 2 amateur fights made his pro debut and got destroyed mercilessly. During the fight the commentators questioned the vetting process in place by the boxing authorities and slated the referee prettymuch non-stop for the last 2 of 4 rounds. We don't really get that kind of honesty from Joe and Mike for example.
Zombie Rock- March 9, 2009 at 3:05 pm
Damn WonderTongue. You've got a shit load of animosity towards Rampage. Did he sideswipe your Prius in the PageMobile or what? I think the reason he gets the title shot is because we've got forever to see Machida sit on the title with his 'somehow-boring-even-when-he-knocks-someone-out' style of fighting. White knows that super fights like Page/Evens don't grow on trees.
Anonymouse- March 9, 2009 at 9:00 am
I think Dana should've switched Hamill's music to crickets chirping, but not tell him. Then watch as he does his entrance thinking Hang On Sloopy is playing. Or would that be too mean...
armfarmer- March 9, 2009 at 8:14 am
and it's "you're"
armfarmer- March 9, 2009 at 8:13 am
I gave several very well thought out and factual arguments on why I think the Kos fight was stopped early so don't start with that. Go back and read them and tell me my opinons aren't based on anything.
The Yert- March 9, 2009 at 6:17 am
I think Yves let it go because Sell always bitches about being stopped even when he is ktfo. Yves wanted to make sure Sell knew he got his ass kicked, so he could not say it was stopped early.
Bovice- March 8, 2009 at 10:54 pm
Damn, Rampage looks like he's been punching sticks of chalk for a few hours. I guess no "from ashy to classy" for him.
just some dong- March 8, 2009 at 8:54 pm
I get that Yves was trying to let a seasoned fighter recover, but he totally stepped in, stopped the fight and pulled Matt Brown off. That means the fight is over... you can't rip a guy off someone and then think twice about it and tell them to keep going. What if Sell had rebounded and beat Brown? That would have been BS. Once a ref grabs a fighter during a situation like that, the fight is over - early stoppage or not.
fourTwenty- March 8, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Okay, your a selfish retard. That's an uneducated opinion that is stupid and bad for the sport. But again, your one of those who thinks Kos/Paulo was early so it's not like your opinion is well thought out or based on anything factual.
Bootylam!- March 8, 2009 at 7:59 pm
As much as I love Rampage, he'll have an EXTREMELY hard time against Rashad. He can take punishment but dish it out better which usually means good for a long time. Rashad's going to have this belt for a while. ( Fuck the Dragon. He's good but fuck him.) Also, Jardine did pretty good considering what Chuck and Wanderlei looked like.
Ketamine 4Kids- March 8, 2009 at 7:57 pm
If you can do a better job of referee, apply, train and get the job. Otherwise, everybody should stfu, we are full of shit for being critical of these refs for what they do in the ring when none of us is walking in their shoes. It's a thankless job for them, and anyone of them can have a bad night, they are not perfect. That is part of any sport, fucking deal with it. I guess it's easier for me to say because I didn't put down 10 large on Kos to win, so I'm just enjoying a KO regardless. For every borderline early/late stoppage, most of the UFC's refs do an awesome job at calling the fights..... And I like 'Page, but Lyoto will beat his ass and Evans' when the time comes, he is just slowly taking that division apart piece by piece.
Skidmark Draws- March 8, 2009 at 4:07 pm
I like lyoto machida but I hope that he can finish more fights!! He went 3 rounds with Kazhahiro Nakamura's down syndrome ass. I lost a lot of respect or Rashad. I don't know how Goldberg and Rogan could stand listening to Rashad suck Jardine's dick for three rounds at the announcer table. Jeezus. "keith's my good friend and after the fight we are gonna shower together and practice our breathing exercises."

Oh yeah and if you do the one nipple tweak like jardine did your gonna lose the fight. "tweak or do not tweak there is no try!"
armfarmer- March 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm
That particular fight was late though I have to say. There was a point when sell was on the ground grabbing for a single and just eating punch after punch and his head was just bouncing around it shouldn't have gone past that point.
armfarmer- March 8, 2009 at 3:41 pm
Call me selfish then because I don't give a fuck. They are fighters and you never hear them complain about being given a chance to come back. The sport might as well die anyway if it gets to the point where the ref calls it everytime someone gets knocked down. I wouldn't want to watch anymore.
Jugger- March 8, 2009 at 3:39 pm
Yves always gives veteran fighters more opportunities to recover. His instinct to stop the fight was over-ridden by his desire to allow an experienced fight an opportunity to rally back.

Still, Yves dropped the ball in that fight and is, no doubt, kicking himself at the moment. I think Yves is the best in business at that moment, but this is a major black mark on his resume. I'd rather be upset that he stopped the fight early than dumbfounded by some weird beat-down like that.

Hindsight... as they say... is 20-20.
Anonymous- March 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm
What are you talking about? he said since he came to the UFC? Franklin, Penn, and Bonnar aren't top ten at light heavy and he didn't beat them in the UFC.

fourTwenty- March 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm
Stop, reality check for a minute. Sure, early stoppages make people mad and deprive you of seeing a good finish, but that's a selfish attitude. Late stoppages are ten times worse than an early stoppage. All it's gonna take is one late stoppage leading to serious or permanent injury and then idiots like Reilly will actually have ground to stand on.

Anyone who would rather see a fighter take "a few more shots to be sure" is a fucking retard and bad for the sport in general.

I'd rather see 10 Kos/Paulo's (Which wasn't even early, there are just a lot of dumbasses who don't realize what the fuck is going on) than ever see another Brown/Sell.
lifeoftheparty.- March 8, 2009 at 2:49 pm
"Two men enter, one man Yves!"

OMG ahahahahahahaha!
Anonymous- March 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm
anyone have a link to the post fight between 'shad and 'page?
nippletwist- March 8, 2009 at 1:41 pm
@ wondertounge

well if you look at rampages last 5 fights it is 1. KO of lidell when chuck was on top 2. win over hendo, where he outwrestled him, and outwrestling hendo is impressive 3. loss to forrest, that decision could have gone either way though, and rampage was in the midst of some crazyness then 4. KO of wandy, which is impressive even if he is not in his prime 5. win over jardine, and he kicked jardines ass, jardine was exhausted with his hands at his side and rampage was completely outstriking him, rampage also was succesful in both his take-down attempts and he stuffed jardine attempts.

rampage is also the former champion, and lost his belt in a controversial decision, that makes him higher on the list of the list of contenders as well

overall i would say rampage has been up against more good fighters than lyoto. although lyoto is undefeated and looks like he could be the best in the division. im not saying lyoto does not deserve the title shot, he does, im just saying the case for rampage is just as strong.
Anonymous- March 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm
Rampage is quickly becoming my 2nd fav fighter, after Fedor. Not just for his great performances in the ring but for his entertaining and cool attitude outside the ring. MMA needs more guys like him.
Anonymous- March 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm
i agree with burnswhenIpee ,gonzaga threw some very sloppy punches and let his guard down in the process ,and instead of taking carwin down he shouldve kept throwing punches when he had carwin hurt .carwin is just big ,heavy handed,and fast with his wrestling technique .He doesnt particularly look all that technichal ,or quick with his stand up .I honestly think hes a bit over rated ,gonzaga wins 8 out 10 times i honestly believe that
Darkside- March 8, 2009 at 12:42 pm
Don't say that, Rashad...
Judge Holden- March 8, 2009 at 12:15 pm
THINK it was funny. Sorry, marijuana impairs my typing.
Judge Holden- March 8, 2009 at 12:07 pm
Did anyone else thought it was funny that Evans said "...I'm gonna dig into that ass!"

Personally I thought it was fucking hilarious.