This fight was on, then off, and now on again for the co-main event of UFC 186 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson (35-11 MMA, 7-5 UFC) will face Brazilian striker Fabio Maldonado (22-7 MMA, 5-4 UFC) at a catchweight of 215 pounds.
A court battle between Bellator and Rampage initially prevented him from competing on Saturday's card, but a New Jersey court's decision to reverse the injunction means that we will see this fight after all. It's expected to be a slugfest for the fans to enjoy. The UFC 186 main card airs live on pay-per-view at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT. Preliminary card action can be found on Fox Sports 1 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, with Fight Pass bouts streaming starting at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Rampage: 36 years old | 6'1" | 73" reach
Maldonado: 35 years old | 6'1" | 75" reach
How have these two done recently?
Rampage: W - Muhammed Lawal (UD) | W - Christian M'Pumbu (KO) | W - Joey Beltran (TKO)
Maldonado: W - Hans Stringer (TKO) | L - Stipe Miocic (TKO) | W - Gian Villante (UD)
How did these two get here?
Jackson left the UFC after his contract had expired in 2013. He'd been less-than-stellar in losses to Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira and was clearly ready to move on, which led to him signing with Bellator MMA. After a fight with Tito Ortiz fell through, Rampage finished Joey Beltran in his debut, then won the LHW tournament with wins over Christin M'Pumbu and King Mo. However, Rampage was unhappy with his contract and after claiming that Bellator didn't negotiate within a specific window, he was free to head back to the UFC. The ending of that story remains to be settled, but for now he's giving it one more run inside the Octagon.
Maldonado has developed a deserved reputation as a brawler who will fight just about anyone presented to him. He proved this in a big way when he replaced an injured Junior dos Santos against top 10 heavyweight Stipe Miocic last May. While he was dominated and finished in 30 seconds he gained plenty of respect for taking a fight above his weight class on short notice. At light heavyweight, he's won his last 4, including a 2nd round TKO over Hans Stringer at UFC 179. The Brazilian boxer loves to go to the body more than most in the UFC, and his finishes come through volume and high workrate instead of a singular punch.
Why should you care?
Well it's 99.9% likely to be a stand-up war that has no bearing on anything to do with title contention, so consider it just a fun fight for your viewing pleasure.