The great moment that happened on Saturday night when Joe Rogan asked Jon Jones if he wanted to step in to face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 almost didn’t happen.
According to Rua in an interview with Tatame.TV, former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was offered the shot at the belt, but turned it down and the UFC instead turned to Jon Jones.
“The UFC thought in other alternatives, but it didn’t work out. For some reason he (Jackson) didn’t accept it,” Rua said in the interview.
Jackson is currently slated to face Thiago Silva at UFC 130 on May 28, but apparently opted not to move his schedule up six weeks to face Rua for the belt.
Shogun and Jackson have faced off before. The pair met while in Pride Fighting Championships, and it ended with Shogun soccer kicking his way to victory.
Jackson has yet to make a statement about the validity of Rua’s claims or if the timing was just off for him to accept a bout against the Brazilian at this time.
Regardless of Jackson’s decision, Jon Jones will now get the chance to face Rua with the UFC light heavyweight title on the line at UFC 128 in March.