Looks like every UFC fan can now exhale.
With Rashad Evans doing his part at UFC 108 with a win over Thiago Silva, the highly anticipated, delayed and over-hyped grudge match between Evans and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is a go.
UFC President Dana White confirmed that fact during the postfight press conference of UFC 108 late Saturday night from within the bowels of the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The bout was first set in motion way back in June of 2009 when the UFC announced its new coaches for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 10. Jackson and Evans were tabbed as coaches despite conventional wisdom being that Jackson -- in line for a title shot after beating Keith Jardine in March -- would oppose Lyoto Machida. However, it was Jackson who opted for Evans after the two had a little post-fight jawing episode when Jackson defeated Evans' training partner and friend Jardine.
But with Evans' subsequent loss to Machida derailing the title implications of their potential fight, and "Rampage" deciding to settle a score it scuttled the UFC's plans for the light heavyweight division.
Ultimately Machida went on to face "Shogun" Rua in a fight that went down to a controversial decision in which Machida was awarded the victory. The rematch is scheduled for May 1, 2010 from Montreal, Quebec.
Meanwhile TUF season 10 taped and the animosity between Evans and Jackson further developed into a bitter feud. Just when it appeared the two would throw down -- at UFC 107 in Jackson's hometown of Memphis, TN -- Jackson threw caution to the wind and followed his acting dreams in choosing to film the silver screen adaptation of "The A-Team" as BA Baracus.
Now, after threatening retirement and returning from the movie set, Jackson is waiting in the wings for Evans and the UFC seems poised to take advantage of what could be their most anticipated bout of the first half of 2010.
With White targeting May as a potential timeline for the bout, UFC 113 on May 1st would make a ton of sense. That is because UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida is scheduled to rematch "Shogun" Rua for the title on that event as well which could set up perfectly for a winner vs. winner for the title matchup.
Could a "Rampage"/"Shogun" rematch be on the horizon as well? Perhaps in September for the title? I think so.