THE MAIN EVENT
Underrated Rashad Evans should handle Rampage Jackson - Josh Gross (Sports Illustrated)
Does he care? Debatable. Yes, at his core Jackson is a fighter. But if he could get away from MMA, even after just re-upping with the UFC for six more fights, he says he would.
Rampage v. Evans gameplanning: Jackson says his wrestling is overlooked - Steve Cofield (Cage Writer)
"It's kind of funny to me, it seems like people forgot all the fights I've done. I wrestled in high school and college too," said Jackson. "Just because I don't like shooting on people, taking them down and laying on the ground and stuff and fighting a boring fight, people think I can't wrestle."
Rashad Evans – No More Questions - Thomas Gerbasi (UFC.com)
But when he knocked out Sean Salmon with a single head kick, scored a single punch knockout of Chuck Liddell, and pounded his way to victory over Forrest Griffin, he admittedly got intoxicated by the highlight reel finish and his ability to deliver such spectacular endings.
Evans says Rampage has gone stagnant like Tyson - Steve Cofield (Cage Writer)
"The Quinton of old was a fighter who was evolving," said Evans. "I think now he's like (Mike) Tyson when Tyson got a little bit older. He just relied on his power and his power punching. I haven't seen him develop too much in his last few fights. His interest don't seem to be in fighting anymore."
Quinton Jackson says his year long layoff was good for his body - Jamie Penick (MMA Torch)
But Jackson doesn't see the layoff as a negative. Quite the opposite, in fact. After hurting his jaw before his third fight with Wanderlei Silva at UFC 92, Jackson took the fight with Keith Jardine at UFC 96 with the jaw still not 100%. That jaw injury is what kept him from facing Rashad Evans for the Title at UFC 98.
RACE AND FIGHTING
UFC 114's racial overtones unnecessary - Josh Gross (Sports Illustrated)
Mixed martial arts has rarely, if ever, been in the position to address social issues. It's a young sport. An outlaw sport. By its very nature, those who know little about MMA presume thuggery and worse. The opportunity to enter such a discussion on the eve the first UFC main event to feature African-American fighters would have wrought an added importance. Instead, the UFC co-opted Jackson's "black-on-black crime" line to market Saturday's fight, cheapening rather than elevating the moment.
'Rampage' Jackson, Rashad Evans and Politics of Race in MMA - Ben Fowlkes (MMA Fighting)
No one criticizes Brock Lesnar for playing to negative stereotypes of white Midwestern farm boys with his ornery attitude, or B.J. Penn for evoking an image of a blood-licking Polynesian savage with his post-fight celebrations.
There's an inherent unfairness to designating someone as the appointed representative for an entire group of people, especially if he never asked to carry that burden. If every other fighter speaks only for himself, why should Jackson be any different?
Then again, some things are different just because they're different. It doesn't have to be fair to be the reality of the situation.
Dan Miller Fights With Heavy Heart, Big Hopes - Mike Chiappetta (MMA Fighting)
He tells you with watery eyes that his son is coming home as he sits there speaking with you, 2000 miles away, and that he can't wait to return to New Jersey to be with Daniel and his wife Kristen. And you wonder, How this man can even think about fighting, let alone concentrate on the match of his life?
Aggression Unchained - Brian Knapp (Sherdog)
When Todd Duffee was in grade school, his mother, fearful that his aggressive tendencies might lead him into a life of trouble, enrolled him in tap dancing classes. The legacy of Fred Astaire was never in jeopardy.
Bisping even trash talks docile Miller - Steve Cofield (Cage Writer)
Some fighters just need heat to get ready for a fight. Clearly, Michael Bisping is one of those guys who needs to hate his opponent to get jacked up for a fight. Dan Miller has barely said a peep about the fight so Bisping tried to pull it out of him at the UFC 114 prefight press conference.
UFC 114's Diego Sanchez done with lightweight but dreaming of rematch with B.J. Penn - John Morgan (MMA Junkie)
A winner of the original "The Ultimate Fighter," Sanchez said the return to 170 pounds was always in the cards, and though he's done with lightweight for now, he feels there's unfinished business with Penn.
Bisping still hoping for Wanderlei rematch in near future (Fighters Only)
Michael Bisping is still hoping the UFC will set up a rematch with Wanderlei Silva at some point in the new year, even though Nate Marquardt looks more likely to be his next opponent if he and Bisping win their forthcoming matches against Rousimar Palhares and Dan Miller respectively.
White gives in, now he likes Rampage's movie career - Steve Cofield (Cage Writer)
Dana White is the modern day "Fonz." You can say it Dana, "I was wr-wr-wr-wrong."
ARE YOU HAVING A LAUGH?
UFC 114: Bad blood boils between Quinton Jackson, Rashad Evans - Franklin McNeil (ESPN)
This fight is personal. Each man will enter cage with a grudge to settle. Their feelings toward one another are raw.