DALLAS -- While the frost on the friendship between Rampage Jackson and UFC President Dana White is beginning to thaw, it appears that it will have little effect on the delay that brought about their issues in the first place. Jackson, currently in Canada to film "The A-Team" movie, won't be ready to fight Rashad Evans until at least March of 2010.
After UFC 103, White said that he spoke to Jackson on Thursday night in an attempt to figure out the timing of Jackson's film commitment, and to determine when he'd be in fighting shape again.
"We're trying to figure it out," White said. "He wants the Rashad fight. He's in Vancouver doing the movie. Now we just have to figure out when."
It now appears that Jackson will be tied up with filming until December, making it impossible to get in a full training camp and be ready for a fight in Febuary.
Jackson and Evans are the coaches of the current season of The Ultimate Fighter, and the season was to culminate in a December fight between the two, until Jackson surprised UFC brass by accepting the movie role. White criticized the decision, saying Jackson owed a commitment to the UFC after building the show at least partly around him.
"Rampage is an active fighter who took that spot in TUF. He can say he did it to me as a favor, but there's a commitment there to fight at the end of the show," White said. "He could've done the fight and then did seven movies, for all I care. He could've took four years off and did whatever he wanted to do, but he was obligated to take that fight. We put him on the show as well as Rashad. Now, Rashad's on the sidelines, too, so it's effecting a lot of different things."
White didn't say if the delay would necessitate another fight for Evans in the meantime, but last week Evans said that he is focused on fighting Jackson.