Jackson has accused his upcoming opponent of enlisting a spy to watch him train. Julie Jacobson/AP/Press Association Images
Fight night

Un-caged: It’s time for the fists to do the talking for Rampage

UFC 135 is set to take place, with an intriguing light heavyweight championship bout in store.

THE REPUTATION OF MMA took a hit in the UK this week, but what better way to restore and enhance it than with an all-action UFC 135 event culminating in a light heavyweight championship bout.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson faces the formidable Jon “Bones” Jones in the main event of the evening, as Jones puts his title on the line for the first time against the former champ.

Josh Koscheck steps in to replace the injured Diego Sanchez as he takes on Matt Hughes in what could be the Hall of Famer’s last foray into the Octagon. Travis Browne, Nate Diaz and Ben Rothwell are all in action also.

Old school vs. new school.

It’s been a long time since Jackson was tearing through the PRIDE middleweight division, and it has taken him three years and five fights to finally get the opportunity to try and get “his” UFC belt back.

Despite losing his title eliminator fight with Rashad Evans in May last year, injuries and cancellations mean Jackson gets the first shot to try and dethrone the new UFC phenomenon, Jon Jones.

As always with Rampage, the lead up to the fight has not been dull. Jackson’s camp accused Jones of having a spy watching him train, and whether there was any truth in it or it was just a tactic to wind Jones up, it has got under his skin.

Rampage’s strongest aspect of his game is his heavy hands, but he might not get close enough to Jones to get fighting on the inside. He hasn’t knocked anyone out since Wanderlei Silva in 2008 and although the threat of a one-punch KO is always there, I fancy Jones to win via submission.

A legend to hang up his gloves?

Although it hasn’t been officially confirmed by the fighter yet, the general feeling is that this will be Matt Hughes’ swansong in the UFC.

A broken hand forced original opponent Diego Sanchez out, so Josh Koscheck steps in to make it a straight-up wrestler vs. wrestler matchup.

Both men are coming off the back of big losses. Koscheck was humbled by GSP in his last fight while Hughes lasted a mere twenty one seconds against BJ Penn.

The fact that it could be his last UFC fight will no doubt give Hughes a little bit of extra motivation, but after seeing his devastating KO by BJ Penn, I fear Hughes won’t get the send-off he wants or deserves as “Kos” will prove that bit too strong for the former welterweight champ.

Best of the rest.

Unbeaten heavyweight giant Travis Browne continues his assault on the division’s top contender status against Rob Broughton. After his impressive KO win over Stefan Struve last time out, Browne is strong favourite to repeat his success against the un-fancied Broughton who makes his second appearance in the UFC.

It’s good to know that at least one of the Diaz brothers shows up to press conferences of their fights, as Nate Diaz gets ready to take on Takanori Gomi in the lightweight division.

The effects of training with champions such as his brother Nick and Gilbert Melendez have really started to show in Nate’s last few fights and his incredible ability to recover when hurt means that he should overcome the one-time PRIDE lightweight champion.

Rothwell and Hunt make up the rest of the main card and this bout has all the hallmarks of a toe-to-to slugfest in which the heavier handed Hunt should get the better of the experienced Rothwell.

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