Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
The civility between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans lasted two minutes.
During a Tuesday teleconference to preview their headlining heavyweight bout at UFC 114 on May 29 at the MGM Grand, Jackson (30-7, 14 KOs) and Evans (14-1-1, 5 KOs) let each other speak without interruption long enough to answer one question.
Then, the despised rivals reverted to usual form for the remaining 40 minutes. The call turned into a morass of yelling, arguing and trash talking.
"This would be a moral victory for me," Jackson said. "Rashad has no title. He couldn't hold on to the belt after one fight, so why am I even fighting this guy? I'm fighting this guy to teach him a lesson to keep his mouth shut if he isn't on the same level."
"Who am I to fight him? (Expletive), who is he to fight me," Evans responded. "You couldn't even beat Forest (Griffin). I beat Forest."
UFC President Dana White allowed the war of words, which at times escalated to an extremely graphic nature, to go uninterrupted for the most part.
White said he had never moderated a teleconference with so much hate, but permitted it because it was all sincere.
"It's a sport, but make no mistakes, this is a fight-game," White said. "Some people don't like each other and want to fight real bad. This is one of those times. It doesn't get any more real than this."
White reminisced on the first day he went on the set of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights. It was the season where Jackson and Evans were opposing coaches and their disdain for each other was on display for the world to see.
White said he remembered a spirited argument breaking out between the two immediately. They seemingly never have stopped since then.
"You have no heart," Evans told Jackson on the teleconference. "You are the (expletive) Tin Man. You need to go see Oz."
Jackson will be fighting for the first time in 14 months after taking a break to shoot the new A-Team movie. Evans last fought in January, when he beat Thiago Silva by unanimous decision at UFC 108.
White has confirmed that the winner of their fight will get a title shot against current heavyweight champion Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua.
Jackson and Evans did agree on one thing: Whoever lost this bout probably would want a rematch. In other words, their rivalry won't end after UFC 114.
"To be honest with you, and they aren't probably going to admit it right now, I think they both respect each other," White said.
White was right. There were no respectful exchanges Tuesday.
"At the end of the day on May 29, you're getting your ass kicked," Jackson said to Evans. "And you know it. You aren't beating me."
"Stop acting like you're stupid," Evans said. "I hate that attitude. The best thing about all this (trash)-talking is we get to find out in two weeks."