Rampage Jackson needs surgery to repair torn ligaments in his jaw and will not be able to fight Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans at UFC 98. Lyoto Machida will take his place. Rampage will get first shot at the winner later in 2009.
It almost works out better this way for Rampage. If he defeated Evans at UFC 98, he would have had to fight Machida next. This way he only has to beat one of them. I've never heard of torn ligaments in the jaw. It probably has something to do with carrying around that Charles Barkley head of his. All that weight has gotta put extra strain on his jaw.
Evans/Machida will be a battle of unbeatens in an era of MMA when "everyone loses". Both fighters are comfortable letting their opponents come to them, so a slow first round is almost inevitable. Evans has very quick hands and it'll be interesting to see if he can hit Machida. Honestly, I can't think of anyone who has so far. Will Machida become a different fighter if he gets hit? Will Evans kiss Jardine on the lips before the fight? Lots of questions remain.