Rampage Jackson speaks via UFC.com:
“To be honest, I wanted to sharpen up some of my skills. I want to get my wrestling and ground game back up to par, and this gives me the time to heal up. I trained really hard for the Wanderlei (Silva) fight and then went right back into training for Jardine. This gives me time to kick it with my kids and sharpen up my skills. This is my job, this is my life, and I want to put the best foot forward and I want to be the best champion that ever lived.”
If Jackson were to fight Machida it would have taken place in September or October. So by being a coach on TUF 10, Jackson has bought himself more time to heal and sharpen up his skills according to him. He feels as if the title shot will be there whether it's Machida holding the belt or not.
“I haven’t been slamming people in a while,” he said. “I want to get back to slamming people and I want to be more unpredictable. That’s what’s got me this far, I was unpredictable back in the day. When I work on something and I find a love for something, I stick to it. So I was trying to box people and knock everybody out. Now I’m working on everything – I’m not just sticking to one thing. I want to be the Ultimate Fighter, the guy who can do everything – like GSP, baby.”
Then again, Jackson probably saw Machida's performance and realized that he has to be unpredictable if he wants to slay the Dragon. I do know this for those that may think that Rampage is ducking Machida by choosing to fight Evans. Any man that loses his title to Forrest Griffin, gets into legal trouble, and then comes back in his next fight to fight a guy that has brutally KO'ed him twice in Wanderlei Silva? Then he takes Silva out in the first round....there's no way in the world that Rampage is afraid to fight Machida. Then again, he'll need to get past Rashad Evans first and that's not exactly a given the way things have been going lately.