Quinton Jackson has signed a new deal with the UFC after three straight wins at Bellator, and one light heavyweight has offered himself to welcome "Rampage" back to the Octagon.
Fabio Maldonado, who won his past four light heavyweight bouts in the UFC, most recently a TKO victory over Hans Stringer at UFC 179, is hoping to be the first to get in a cage with "Rampage" in 2015.
"I think this fight is interesting not only for me, but for a lot of people. It’s an exciting match-up," Maldonado told MMAFighting.com. "He has better wrestling and I have a better jiu-jitsu, and we both like to brawl. It would be a fun fight to watch, and you don’t know what to expect. I think it’s a good fight."
"When I beat Beltran in the UFC, he went to Bellator and got the fight I always dreamed about," Maldonado said. "I always wanted to fight ‘Rampage’, and the guy I beat got the chance. I want to fight him."
"I’m sure ‘Rampage’ will stand and trade punches with me," he continued. "He’s dangerous. He knocked out a guy that I couldn’t finish, a guy that I won a close split decision. I’m sure he’ll stand with me. He won’t shy away from a brawl. His hands can knock anyone out in the UFC."
Maldonado underwent a knee surgery in late November, and hopes to be back inside the Octagon by March.
"I’m back to training already," Maldonado said. "It was the meniscus, so it’s a quick recovery. I’m getting better every day, and I want to fight again in March. My manager Alex Davis will talk to the UFC and I hope I have good news soon."