Wanderlei Silva and Quinton Jackson are set to throw down for a fourth time after three vicious and violent encounters. The two rivals squared off on Tuesday at a Bellator press conference in New York and discussed their impending showdown.
While their three previous fights have all been contested at light heavyweight, this time around, Silva and “Rampage” will be fighting at heavyweight, where Jackson has been competing since returning to Bellator in 2016.
That’s of no concern to “The Axe Murderer”, who is well aware he will be at quite a size and weight disadvantage:
“The lion is king of the jungle, not the elephant. I’m gonna beat this Fat Guy,” Silva said. “This fight is a present for the fans. Every time we have fought, it’s always been a [knockout] finish. He won the last one, but the next one I will win for sure.”
Silva famously delivered two devastating knockouts over “Rampage” under the Pride Fighting Championships – once in 2003 and again in 2004. Jackson returned the favor years later, knocking out Silva in the first round at UFC 92 in 2008.
As for “Rampage”, Silva is the ideal matchup for him at this stage in his career. After recent fights against wrestlers Muhammed Lawal and Chael Sonnen, the former UFC light heavyweight champion is just excited to be fighting a striker again, and one he happens to respect, despite their history.
“A lot of time, wrestlers fight like cowards. I feel like MMA has made its name on being exciting. No matter how I have felt about Wanderlei, I’ve always respected him and his fighting style,” Jackson said. “UFC 20 was the first event I ever watched, and Wanderlei was on it. I watched him fight and I became a fan of Wanderlei.
“He gave me two of the worse ass kickings I’ve ever had in my career. I knew I could beat him if I had the right training crew, and last time I fought Wanderlei I knocked him out of the weight class,” he continued. “Bellator is giving me a present so I can at least even the score with this guy. He’s what a true MMA fighter looks like. I’m happy to be facing him again.”
Silva and “Rampage” are set to clash on Sep. 29 in San Jose, Calif., alongside a superfight between Bellator champions Rory MacDonald and Gegard Mousasi.