Rampage challenges the field

Quinton Jackson def. Chuck Liddell, KO - R1, in UFC 71. (UFC photo)

Quinton Jackson def. Chuck Liddell, KO - R1, in UFC 71. (UFC photo)

JOSE RODRIGUEZ

, Last Updated: 9:32 PM ET

There’s no shortage of fighters to kick off your pantleg when your sitting in the lofty perch of the champion’s throne.

So what does the reigning light-heavyweight champ think of the growing line of men waiting to dethrone him?

The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson sizes up the competition like this:

Chuck Liddell — Jackson is quick to point out that he’s beaten the former UFC light-heavyweight champ not once but twice. Still, Jackson says: "He’s a tough guy. He goes out parties hard and he still knocks people out."

Tito Ortiz — Great wrestler. "He’s a good friend of mine, but if I had to fight him, I would."

Forrest Griffin — "The second-funniest man in the UFC. He’s one of the crowd favourites. If we fought, he’d be the crowd favourite."

Rashad Evans — "He’s going down." (In reference to the undefeated Michigan fighter’s upcoming bout with Tito Ortiz July 7.)

Keith Jardine — "Not enough experience."

Wanderlei Silva — "I want him. He’s a fallen champ," says Jackson, who’s twice lost to the Brazilian tough guy.

Stephan Bonnar — "What happened to him? I thought he was was suspended. He can come get some too." For the record, Bonnar was suspended after testing positive for a banned substance following his fight against Forrest Griffin last August. He makes his return to the cage at UFC 73 in July.

Michael Bisping — "The count. The coolest man in England." But Jackson adds that if they stepped into the cage with him, Bisping would get his "ass whooped".

Jackson didn’t offer much on his upcoming opponent, Dan Henderson, the Pride champ he’ll face in a unification bout at UFC 75 in September, except to say he’s tough and Jackson will be hitting the gym early.

jose.rodriguez@sunmedia.ca

FIGHT NOTES:

  • Beginning at 9 a.m. today, Spike TV will be airing every episode of The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 capping off the day with the live finale. Coaches Jens ‘Lil Evil’ Pulver and BJ ‘The Prodigy’ Penn will square off in the eight sided cage as will Nate Diaz and Manny Gamburyan who will fight for the TUF 5 crown.

  • Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping will fight Matt Hamill at UFC 75 on Sept. 8 in London, England. There had initially been rumours UFC hall-of-famer Ken ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’ Shamrock would be coming out of retirement to take on Bisping. The fight will be called champion vs. champion and will be headlined by the Henderson/Jackson tilt.

  • Winnipeg’s Joe Doerksen will take on Paulo Filho for the vacant World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight title in Las Vegas on Aug. 5

  • Hoping to return to his winning ways following an upset at the fists of Matt ‘The Terror’ Serra, Montreal’s Georges St. Pierre will take on Josh Koscheck at UFC 74 on Aug. 25 in Vegas. Randy Couture will also put his heavyweight belt on the line that night as he takes on Gabriel Gonzaga, who’s coming off the upset of the year over Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. Cro Cop will make his next appearance at UFC 75. His rumoured opponent is Cheick Kongo.

  • UFC legend Royce Gracie has tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone. The result came following the June 2 fight against Kazushi Sakuraba. The California State Athletic Commission has suspended the fighter until May 2008.

    For the latest mixed-martial arts news, check out The Scrapyard blog at canoe.ca


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