It looks like another aging mixed martial arts star is about to jump ship and try his hand at boxing. According to Rampage Jackson, he’s getting a bit bored with MMA and plans on lacing up the boxing gloves once his contract with the UFC expires. Jackson made the statement a few days after losing to Jon Jones on Sept. 24 at the UFC 135 event.
Jackson is the UFC’s former light-heavyweight champion and his days with that organization could be numbered anyway. Jones beat him by a submission in the fourth round and it doesn’t look like he’ll get another title shot in UFC. But Jackson said he isn’t completely finished because he wants to take on Forrest Griffin again in a rematch early in 2012. Griffin beat him by a unanimous decision in 2008.
Jackson said he’s not really into the style of fighting that the younger generation of MMA artists are. He’s not a big fan of ground fighting and complicated tactics, but would rather stay on his feet and slug it out with his opponents. If that’s the case, then he’s definitely making a wise move by trying out boxing. Jackson has knocked out some of MMA’s biggest stars in the past such as Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva and said that’s the type of fighting he prefers and he wants more of it.
Jackson was frustrated in his recent bout against Jones as his opponent stayed out of reach and didn’t want to mix it up with him. He said that he hates fighting people who are scared to fight because they’re constantly running. He added that in boxing the fighters have to at least stand in there with each other. He said he doesn’t care if he gets knocked out as long as it’s a fight and not a running event.
At the moment, he’s not leaving UFC though, even though he said he’s tried boxing and loves it. He’ll probably end up fighting in Japan in February and even though he’d like to take on Mauricio Shogun Rua it looks like he’ll be meeting Griffin again since Rua is set to meet Dan Henderson.
It’s unclear what weight Jackson would fight at in boxing. He competes at 205 lbs in MMA, but usually walks around at anywhere from 225 to 250 lbs. The heavyweight division in boxing could sure use some new blood, especially if it’s American. The division has been dominated by the Klitschko brothers of Ukraine for the last several years and before they took over, Britain’s Lennox Lewis was the king of the heavyweights.
Nobody’s sure if Jackson is serious about switching sports. Some fans feel he’s just frustrated after losing against Jones and is spouting off. If he is serious, he’ll definitely have to wait for his UFC contract to run out since it’s very doubtful that organization is going to let up box while he’s under contract.
We’ll probably have to wait until next February after his rematch against Griffin to see if Jackson still feels the same way.