Several moons ago, back in March 2009, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
did what he often does, he riffed on a topic that didn't necessarily pertain to him at the time. The subject that day was Lyoto Machida
, who was then still unbeaten and on his way to becoming the UFC light-heavyweight champion.
Jackson, it seemed, wasn't a fan of Machida's deliberate, karate-based style, and though he admitted Machida was good, he called him "boring as hell." All this time later, Jackson's words were resurrected and offered up to him to see if he had changed or perhaps softened his opinion on the man he'll be facing next week at UFC 123
. It didn't take a genius to know what was coming.
"Why would it change because I'm matched up with him?" Jackson said during a UFC 123 conference call. "Why would I change how I like his fighting style just beause I'm fighting him?"
Later, Jackson elaborated further on his dislike for mixed martial artists who are slow to engage, a criticism Machida has heard throughout various points of his career.
"I'm prepared for a fight," said Jackson (30-8), who is hoping to rebound off a UFC 114 decision loss to Rashad Evans. "I'd rather fight someone who's going to put on a show like me and stand and bang. Those people are true warriors, true fighters like the way BJ Penn fights and Matt [Hughes] fights. I like watching guys like that fight. Other guys I'm not a fan of at all.
"I feel like I have a fighting spirit, a true warrior spirit," he continued. "When you get in the octagon, you fight. It's not like boxing where guys are trying to outpoint each other and go for a decision. We're MMA fighters, we're the best athletes in the world. I just hate to see our sport change into boxing where people aren't even fighting anymore. I can't even watch a boxing match anymore."
It was one of few animated moments for the otherwise reserved former light-heavyweight champ, who is rarely short on words.
MMA Fighting asked Machida for his response to Jackson's criticism and true to Machida form, he stepped aside and let the blow skip past him.
"Basically, everyone has their own opinion," he said. "But my style made me a champion. Everybody's got to use their style that makes them comfortable in the ring."