Dana White Laid Ground Work for Lyoto Machida vs Quinton Rampage Jackson in 2006

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You can't say Dana White doesn't take the long view in running the Zuffa fighting empire. Last night at the post-UFC 98 press conference he announced Lyoto Machida's first title defense will be against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, per MMA Weekly:

The victory on Saturday was a validation of his investment in the Machida's tactical, karate-based style, which drew early criticism from fans.

"We bought the WFA to acquire his contract and Rampage's," added White. "I've always thought this kid was talented."

Dana made that investment back at the end of 2006 and Rampage was already well-enough known to be part of the story when the purchase was made, but Lyoto was not, from MMA Weekly:

Sources close to the situation told MMAWeekly.com that Quinton Jackson and Heath Herring are two of the fighters that are part of the deal and will soon be fighting in the UFC. Comments from UFC President and Zuffa co-owner Dana White in Zuffa's press release would seem to support that information: "Zuffa is committed to giving our fans the best fights between the best fighters in the world. This acquisition helps us continue fulfilling that goal... bringing the WFA fighters into the Zuffa family is the best thing that could happen for the fighters - and for the fans."

Its interesting to note that the WFA purchase has now produced two champions in the marquee 205lb decision division while the much more heralded and expensive PRIDE acquisition has only produced one interim champion in Nogueira.

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