— The overdose of April MMA has come to a close giving way back to the normal "once-a-month" schedule of UFC fighting. However, the May 23rd card isn't anything short of epic. It cab be considered a continuation of a chapter that was written three years ago; Liddell and Jackson once again have a date with destiny. Other than a now defunct clash between CroCop and Couture, Liddell and Jackson is 2007's most highly anticipated match-up. Yet, there seems to be something missing. Something lacking.
To Hype or not to Hype
In just his second appearance in the Octagon, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson accrued a title shot merely on resume experience alone. Although in his UFC debut, Jackson dispatched a game Marvin Eastman in one and a half rounds, Eastman isn't even considered close in the top Light Heavyweight food chain. While Jackson pleaded with UFC President Dana White to slowly work his way to the top due to the extensive ring/cage rust he accrued between his last fight in Pride, a short stint in WFA, and his entrance in the UFC, Jackson, with all due respect to his career and accomplishments, has been thrown to the wolf of the UFC or maybe even all of Light Heavyweight MMA.
While MMA communities and forums pander the idea that Jackson beat Liddell three years ago (which is the hype Dana White and UFC are running with), Jackson hasn't been the same since he "found God". At least that is what the conspiracy deduces. A man who has revoked his frustrations and anger with the tough Memphis streets he grew up in and has forgiven all those that repressed him, he has lost the fuel that drove him to the top of Pride, yet to be humbled by Pride's quintessential "Axe Murderer", twice.
These little known variables may turn an epic war, regardless of who wins, to a lopsided match in favor of the "Iceman". A man who has over the years acquired a constant "hunger" to be on top of the Light Heavyweight division and remain there. The nearly-40 Liddell has reached a pinnacle in his fighting career and abilities, with many fighters not even within earshot of trying to take him down. While Jackson seems to the be the most likely candidate to do so, Quinton Jackson hasn't had enough "hard" fights in the cage to analyze, work, and discover kinks and weaknesses him and has camp need to figure out, especially in only his third experience in the cage.
Ice Cold for Rampage
While I can yell "conspiracy" at the whole situation, the fact remains that Jackson hasn't gone through the gauntlet of tough Light Heavyweights that seem to have dissipated merely due to Jackson's extensive fight record. A battle with Renato Sobral, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, Keith Jardine, Ryoto Machida, or even bringing back Vitor Belfort would chip away at the kinks for Jackson and hype up the battle against Liddell.
Liddell may just be too good for Jackson to handle at this point and selling this fight may result in a disappointing quick fight for fight fans. While "Iceman" fanatics may sit comfortably for a pending KO or TKO to ensnare Jackson, the rest of the MMA community want to see the war that occurred in Pride's Final Conflict 2003.
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Original article at http://www.buddytv.com/articles/ufc/ufc_light_heavyweight_title_to-6188.aspx