Did "Rampage" miss his chance to reunite with an old friend? | Photo: Judy Eddy/WENN
The UFC light heavyweight title picture is a mess. After a hand injury to Jon Jones was to require surgery and scuttled his first title defense against Rashad Evans, scheduled for UFC 133 on Aug. 6, “Bones” later informed his fans that he was not getting the surgery. Still, he is not likely to fight again until fall.
Weirdly, that cost Evans a shot at the belt and rewarded him with the undefeated Phil Davis in the UFC 133 headliner, if one can call that a reward.
The light heavyweight division is getting a dose of the injury delays that will have put the heavyweight ranks on ice for nearly a year, until Cain Velasquez gets back and defends his crown against the winner of the UFC 131 main event between Junior dos Santos and Shane Carwin on June 11.
With a lukewarm performance in outpointing Matt Hamill at UFC 130 on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, former 205-pound kingpin Quinton “Rampage” Jackson did his best despite bringing an injured hand into the bout. However, a spectacular stoppage win would have definitely put him at the front of the line to face Jones. Now, that seems anything but assured.
The light heavyweight title picture is definitely a case study in parity. Like teammate Georges St. Pierre, one has to wonder whether or not Jones would be less than 4-to-1 favorite against any likely challenger. With that said, the UFC needs to find someone viable. If Jackson could show off more of his vintage self and perhaps uncork one of those bodacious slams that he used to such great effect in Pride Fighting Championships, he would be a lock for a title shot. Maybe next time.