The fight offers everything that a mega fight needs. Fans have reasons to like/dislike both Rampage and Jones, the fight showcases two of the most exciting 205lb fighters in the world and just in case that’s not enough to for you to tune in, the fight is also for the UFC Light Heavyweight title.
The reason this fight will be the best of the year is very simple; hype. The anticipation of Rampage and Jones being in the cage at the same time is enough to sell the event. Once you add the personalities of both men, fans will have to make the choice of what fighter to cheer against, which means interest in the outcome will rise.
The history of both men offers two separate paths to this title fight that have gained and lost them fans along the way.
Let’s start with the challenger. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has proven to be one of the most exciting fighters in the light heavyweight division for quite some time. Making his mark in Japan for Pride, Rampage burst into UFC stardom by flooring Chuck Liddell at UFC 71.
Although known to the knowledgeable fans of MMA, Rampage became a star overnight to the casual fans. His affinity for howling before his bouts—as well as looking to take his opponents’ heads off—made him a fan favorite.
Rampage’s popularity not only comes from his performance in the octagon but also from outside. He has a personality that seems to draw people to him (both for and against him). He says what he wants and gives people a reason to tune in. His promos for his fight against Rashad Evans in particular were both funny and scary.
He may be an exciting fighter, but getting Rampage to the finish line continues to be a major problem for the former champ. He has openly admitted to fighting for the desire to make money and the lure of Hollywood has made some fans question his desire to keep fighting.
Standing across from Rampage at UFC 135 will be a fighter who offers just as much excitement.
Being hailed as the future of MMA, Jon “Bones” Jones looks to continue his path of destruction through the UFC light heavyweight division. Jones has looked increasingly more impressive from each fight to the next.
His first breakthrough performance was against Stephan Bonnar at UFC 94. Executing some highlight real throws and trips along with absolutely devastating striking combos, Jones became a popular attraction for the UFC.
Even his only “loss” is considered a victory. Jones was DQ’d for using illegal elbow strikes against Matt Hamill, but was dominating the fight in every fashion up to that point. Jones’ biggest victory came against another stand out from Pride.
At UFC 128, Jon Jones squared off against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Fans of Rua were clamoring across the Internet about how the Brazilian Muay Thai expert would destroy Jones’ chicken legs. In what can only be described as a bad dream for Rua fans, Jones dominated and controlled Shogun, en route to winning the UFC Light Heavyweight belt.
Following the destruction of Rua, Jones was set to face off against former teammate Rashad Evans. Jones was forced to withdraw with a hand injury and the fight fell through.
After Evans had found a replacement, Jones’ management released a statement saying his (Jones) hand did not require surgery and that Jones was looking for a fight before the end of the year. Jones’ standing with fans fell drastically, as it looked as if Jones was ducking Evans. Jones’
comments made before and after his bout with Rua also caused criticism from the MMA landscape.
Before his title fight, Jones had begun signing autographs “Jon Jones: Champion 2011” and many fans grew tired of his arrogance. His holier than thou persona also did not do him many favors within the MMA community.
Fight fans were left wanting more following Rampage’s contest against rival Rashad Evans at UFC 114. This fight has the potential to provide the excitement that Rampage-Evans was supposed to bring. Jones has never been known to “lay ‘n pray” like Rashad Evans, and Rampage is always one strike away from ending the fight.
From the second the bell rings, fans will be on the edge of their seats, anticipating a thunderous punch from Rampage or a devastating elbow from Jones. In advertising the adage is “sex sells.” In the fight game, “hype sells” and Rampage vs. Jones offers the most hyped fight of 2011.
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