DENVER (AP) — Before he even stepped into the ring, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was already landing punches.
Only, these were mental jabs staggering defending champion Jon “Bones” Jones.
In the buildup to their light heavyweight title bout at UFC 135 on Saturday, Jackson accused Jones of sending a mole into his camp to spy on the fighter who once played B.A. Baracus in the big-screen version of “The A-Team.”
It was an insinuation that stunned Jones at first and had him back on his heels in defense.
This was all part of Jackson’s plan to climb inside the head of Jones, who at 24 is the youngest champion in UFC history. A cagey mixed martial arts veteran, Jackson isn’t bashful about delivering blows to the psyche of an opponent before a big bout.