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Rampage Jackson Explains Decision to Turn Down UFC 128 Title Bout Against Shogun Rua

Was he "ducking" Shogun? Nah, he's just too out-of-shape to make weight in 5 weeks.
Was he "ducking" Shogun? Nah, he's just too out-of-shape to make weight in 5 weeks.

Rashad Evans had to pull out due to a knee injury, and Jon Jones was awarded a light heavyweight title shot after beating Ryan Bader on UFC 126. Earlier today though, Shogun Rua mentioned that "Bones" was only the second option, with the first being former champ, Quinton Jackson. Some people think that he was "ducking" Shogun, but Rampage says that's really not the case. He talked to mmajunkie about it:

"I don't care who the opponent is. I'm not taking a fight on four weeks' notice. It's not enough time to get ready for a five-round fight. Dana knows that. And 'Shogun,' he's a fighter, and he should know that. He shouldn't even go and say [expletive] like that with him being a fighter. He saw me at the fight this weekend. Everybody saw how big I am."

"I'm just doing maintenance training right now. I just started back. I fought right before the holidays, and I went on vacation to see my family and took my kids to see their family in Japan. I've been living my life, so I gained a lot of weight. I'm a natural fighter. I don't do any drugs, and I don't know any high-performance drugs, so I have a natural body. My body gains weight when I don't train and I don't eat like I'm in camp."

"I'm 250 pounds, and I would have to lose 45 pounds in, what, three or four weeks? The first time I fought 'Shogun,' I was injured going into that fight, and it's haunted me all the way up to now. I always believed the second time I fight 'Shogun' that I'm going to be close to 100 percent as possible... I don't want to have a rushed camp and have a last-minute fight to fight someone who's already beaten me. Even if they offered me Forrest (Griffin) or Rashad (Evans) in four weeks, I can't take that fight because I'm too big."

Some people were quick to judge, but this was a very good move for Rampage, as it wouldn't have been wise to come on short notice, and to spend the entire camp just trying to lose weight. He knows that if he gets past Thiago Silva on UFC 130, he's probably still getting a title shot anyway.