MMA champ has bone to pick with challenger

Jon Jones (left), shown in his win over Jake O’Brien at UFC 100 in Las Vegas, says he feels like...

Jon Jones (left), shown in his win over Jake O’Brien at UFC 100 in Las Vegas, says he feels like he’s already beaten Saturday’s opponent, Quinton Jackson. (File photo)

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:26 AM ET

As far as Jon “Bones” Jones is concerned, he’s already beaten Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

“I’ve simplified my playbook a little,” says the 24-year-old UFC light-heavyweight champ.

“I’m still working on a thousand different kicks, but I’ve also tried to work one kick a thousand times. You beat Rampage Jackson in the gym. You beat him because you want it more in the gym for months. That’s why I feel the fight has already been won.”

The creative striker will make his first title defence against Jackson Saturday in the main event of Denver’s UFC 135.

The hype for the fight has been in overdrive with late-night talk show appearances and allegations from Jackson that Jones had a spy in his camp reporting back with updates.

“Why would I need to hear second-hand reports about Rampage’s camp?” asks Jones, who is 13-1 as a pro.

“I’m not a cheat. I’ve got 16 of his fights on my laptop right now, and another 16 at home.”

Jones has said the Spygate accusations were part of a ploy by Jackson to get into the young champ’s head.

And it worked.

But Jones says the timing was all wrong.

“He should have done it closer to the fight. I just used it to train harder,” says Jones.

The 6-foot-4 New York native says Jackson is a one-dimensional fighter and has shown little progress in his style in the past seven years.

“I’ve seen all his fights and he’s not changed a thing since 2004,” says Jones.

“He’s very dangerous at what he does, but he’s added nothing at all as he goes through his career.”

The Memphis slugger, who has a 32-8 record, is sticking to his story that Jones’ people were keeping tabs on him — though he says it won’t make a difference.

“I know what I know. Someone in his camp was spying on my camp,” says Jackson.

“I don’t care. He could have a live feed to my gym 24/7 for all I give a damn.”

Jackson says he has only one thing in his sights.

“No one has needed to try to motivate me for this fight. I want my belt back,” says Jackson.

Jackson admits he’s only recently taken stock of what he’s been able to accomplish in his fight career.

Jackson was the first fighter to unify the Pride and UFC light-heavyweight belts with back-to-back victories over UFC champ Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and Pride champ Dan Henderson.

“(UFC middleweight champ) Anderson Silva is an amazing fighter, but I unified the UFC and PRIDE belts before he did and I am very proud of that,” says Jackson.

“I didn’t appreciate what I had accomplished until after I lost the belt, which is why I am taking this fight so seriously.”

UFC 135 is available on pay-per-view with two preliminary fights — including one with undefeated Calgary fighter Nick Ring taking on Tim Boetsch — that will air on Spike TV and Rogers Sportsnet.

UFC 135 PREDICTIONS

Here are the always dangerous Scrapyard predictions for the pay-per-view portion of UFC 135:

- Light-heavyweight champ Jon “Bones” Jones (13-1) vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-8) — Jackson has a puncher’s chance in any battle he enters. But the slick and quick Jones has too many weapons for the former Pride and UFC champ to defend against. PREDICTION: Jones by second-round TKO.

- Matt Hughes (45-8) vs. Josh Koscheck (15-5): Old school vs new school. Hughes is on the tail end of a hall-of-fame career, but he’s not the grappler he once was. Koscheck is cleaner and more predatory than Hughes and wants to show he’s still a top welterweight following the loss to Georges St. Pierre. PREDICTION: Koscheck by first-round TKO.

- Rob Broughton (15-5-1) vs. Travis Browne (11-0-1): Browne is a slugger and at 6-foot-7 one of the tallest heavyweights around. Broughton is only one fight into his UFC career and has been beaten — something Browne has yet to suffer. PREDICTION: Browne by first-round TKO.

- Nate Diaz (13-7) vs. Takanori Gomi (32-7): Few fighters are as frustrating as the Diaz brothers. Coupled with the well-timed punches and submission attempts comes the constant trash talking as the fight unfolds. PREDICTION: Diaz by third-round submission.

- Mark Hunt (6-7) vs. Ben Rothwell (31-7): This one will be a slow, lumbering affair that will go to the fighter who doesn’t tire out first. PREDICTION: Hunt by second-round TKO.


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