Rampage Jackson Respects Jon Jones, but Doesn’t Think He’s Fought Anyone Tough Yet

September 22, 2011
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Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson

Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson

It’s hard to deny the talent that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones possesses.

Through eight fights so far in the Octagon, Jones has managed to put away five of his eight opponents, and his only loss was a disqualification in a fight in was dominating against Matt Hamill.

To win the UFC light heavyweight title, Jones decimated former Pride Grand Prix champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, finishing him with strikes in the third round of their fight back in March.

Since that time, Jones is secure atop the light heavyweight divisional rankings. He has also begun to gain steam as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. But has the praise been heaped upon Jones’ head a little too early for a fighter just making his first title defense this weekend at UFC 135?

His next opponent Quinton “Rampage” Jackson certainly thinks so. While Jackson admits Jones is a supremely talented fighter, he doesn’t believe he’s done enough to earn some of the accolades that are being showered down on him.

“You’ve got to show Jon respect, he earned his respect, but I think the problem is MMA has a lot of brand new fans. That’s a good thing and it can also be a bad thing in terms of what you’re talking about,” Rampage told MMAWeekly Radio.

“They don’t see Shogun was rusty, he was just coming off an injury. A lot of new fans probably don’t understand that when a fighter takes a year off, coming off of injuries, Jon Jones is a very dangerous opponent for him to come back to.”

Jackson thinks that Rua should have come back to a different kind of fight than to face Jones right off the bat, but as champion his job was to defend the belt and Jones was at the top of the list.

“He probably need to come back and fight somebody that’s, no disrespect to any fighter, but like a Keith Jardine or somebody like that. Honestly, in that weight class, you want to come back and fight somebody like that. You don’t want to come back fighting somebody like Jon Jones, who’s very unorthodox and unpredictable,” Jackson commented.

The biggest problem Rampage sees with Jones receiving so much praise is the lack of talent he’s faced in the light heavyweight division.

“The kid hasn’t fought anybody that’s really tough,” said Jackson. “He’s fought Vladimir Matyushenko, which is tough, but that wasn’t the same Vladimir Matyushenko that just fought his last fight.”

Heading into their fight this weekend, Jackson is confident that Jones won’t be receiving much more of that praise after he loses his light heavyweight title.

But if Jones beats Rampage, the former Pride fighter will gladly give him all the credit he would deserve.

“Me looking at him as a fighter, I don’t think he’s earned that title and stuff yet,” said Jackson. “If he beats me on the 24th, then he’s on his way. He can claim all that, but the guy hasn’t defended his belt yet. I think they should wait a little bit before they jump on his jock too much.”

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  • PappaK

    I love Rampage, but feel he might be the one underestimating his opponent. Bones is extremely talented and unorthodox… and Rampage is old-school.
    My heart’s with Rampage, but my money’d be on Bones for this one.

  • Shan_Phoenix

    He may be underestimating him but he has apprently trained hard at least and he won’t be going in afraid.

    He does have a point though. Other champions have fought tougher opponents to get to the top. Jon Jones has only fought Shogun. He hasn’t faced Rashad, Machida, obviously Hendo was in Strikeforce.

    Jones will have some tougher fights ahead. There is a long way to go if you know LHW history, it is so competitive that no one holds the belt that long. The next few years will tell what Jones is about.

  • mikemaclellan

    The last LHW champ to defend his title successfully was Machida (vs. Shogun). Before Machida, the last LHW champ to defend was Rampage (vs. Hendo). The last LHW champ to defend more than once, well you have to go all the way back to Chuck Liddell (vs. Horn, Randy, Babalu, Tito). There have been six LHW champs since Chuck,(Rampage, Forrest, Rashad, Machida, Shogun, Jones) and only two have defended, and none have defended twice.

    I don’t give Rampage much of a chance in this fight, but then again I though Machida would slaughter him, so we’ll just have to see.

  • kylesmith

    Nobody tough? I believe Shogun whooped YOUR ass, Quinton!

  • Last I checked, Shogun wooped Rampage’s ass into a towel being thrown in. I don’t wanna hear that bullshit about his ribs were cracked either, every fighter has something wrong with him here or there when he fights. Rampage what you said was pretty stupid specially when avid fan’s are allowed to comment. Jones is gonna beat his ass.