With Quinton Jackson’s Hand Injured, Could Evans vs. Machida Be a Done Deal?

Even though he wasn’t one of the six fighters who received medical suspensions after UFC 96, Quinton Jackson reportedly injured his hand during his decision win against Keith Jardine, making a May title fight against light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans even less likely. Adds Sportsnet.ca:

A banner on UFC.com Sunday showed a picture of [Evans and Jackson] with the title “UFC 98: Evans vs. Jackson,” and the matchup was listed on the website’s fight card page. However, Monday the banner had disappeared and the UFC 98 fight card listed Evans’ opponent as “TBD.”

Rampage’s hand injury adds to a lingering jaw injury that he sustained while training for his UFC 92 fight against Wanderlei Silva. It’s hard to imagine he’d be anywhere close to 100% by May 23rd. But that doesn’t seem to bother Rashad Evans, who is already mentally preparing for the UFC’s other top light-heavyweight contender, Lyoto Machida. As Sugar told Sherdog:

The kid’s been phenomenal. He’s been better than phenomenal. He’s been looking better every fight. But that’s the fight business. That’s the fun part about a fight is the fact that you go in there with an opponent that sometimes seems insurmountable. But then you figure it out and that makes the victory that much sweeter. With that said, there may be some kinks in his armor that I have yet to see that I can exploit when I look at the tapes more closely. Machida’s been looking slicker than I don’t know what, but everybody has a weakness even if you do look slick as oil. Everyone has a weakness.”

Rashad also discussed what was going through his head during the infamous face-off that followed Jackson’s defeat of Jardine:

“I didn’t expect any of that, man. I was just going to do the face-off and what not but then he started talking trash. I wasn’t even in the mood to play or joke around, I just saw one of my best friends lose a fight which I had him winning until the last 10 seconds. I see the hurt in [Jardine’s] eyes and he’s so upset and he’s disappointed and I feel, like, bad for him. Then this dude is bumpin’ his gums at me, and honestly, I really wanted to punch him in his face, but I knew that wasn’t the right time to do that so I just tried to stay as composed as possible because I don’t like to talk trash. Whenever I got into a street fight I never talked — I just hit. I never liked to be in someone’s face that close just talking.