Remembering the past: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s 5 greatest fights

Rampage is a guy who prides himself on being entertaining and exciting to watch. With what could very well have been his last fight in the octagon, a humble and cerebral Rampage recently stated the following in a post-fight interview with FuelTV’s Ariel Helwani:

“I don’t know if I can compete with the top people. It’s my first time I’ve lost three fights in a row. I’m not going to give up. I’m going to go back to the drawing board and work on everything. I feel like I can come back if I set my mind to it, but right now if anyone picks me up, that’s my marketing pitch — hey I’ll put on a great show for you.”

“I think that this is my reality and I have to see what’s next. I’ve been fighting for 13 years and the game has changed a lot. I might just be one of those fighters that come in and excite the crowd — be like Gary Goodridge. One of those guys who just comes out and puts on a great show. Gary Goodridge is a great ambassador for the sport and he taught me a long time ago that it’s all about the show. I’m just going out there and try to entertain the fans. I’ll be one of those middle range fighters. If someone wants to pick me up and somebody is going to put on an exciting fight for the fans.”

As Dana’s said on multiple occasions, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson happens to be one of those guys who has always had the potential to be soo much more. With little to no wrestling or even previous combat experience, Rampage made a serious name for himself in a sport full of very experienced, tested and decorated martial artists.

With enough focus, training and the right attitude, there’s no telling what Rampage could have accomplished in his career. When someone as naturally talented at the sport of fighting as he was, makes it their priority to be the best, there’s no doubt he could have held on to the 205 belt longer, notching a bunch more wins and finishes to his record in the process.

But enough of what could have been, let’s talk about what actually took place and what the future may have in store for Rampage. Let’s start with what I consider his 5 most memorable fights:

Ricardo Arona

For the old school fans of Rampage, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear his name is the word “SLAM”. This is the fight that will forever be known as Rampages greatest signature finish and will more than likely find itself on to pretty much every MMA highlight reel, until mankind is invaded and destroyed by aliens who watched the A-Team movie and decided that we should no longer be allowed to live.

Rashad Evans

The fight didn’t quite live up to the hype as Rashad decided to wrestle and strategize the hell out of Rampage. But the event was historical in that it was the culmination of a long-awaited bad blood feud between the two coaches of one of the most successful seasons of The Ultimate Fighter ever.

Chuck Liddell II

For many UFC fans, this was the fight that really introduced them to Rampage for the very first time. With one punch Rampage changed the entire landscape of the Light-heavyweight division, knocking off the reigning defending Champion from his throne, ending his winning streak and snatching the UFC title in the process. Ironically however, this made him public enemy #1. Due to Chuck Liddell’s popularity, Rampage’s victory wasn’t so well-received resulting in a shower of boos.

Wanderlei Silva II

This fight was significant in that it was the very first time anyone has ever KO’d Rampage in his entire career. And boy oh boy was this a vicious KO. There aren’t many beatings more one sided than this one. If you haven’t seen this match I advise you look it up immediately. Let me know if your jaw drops when Rampage’s lifeless body is dangling on the ropes.

Wanderlei Silva III

After being destroyed by the same opponent twice, it’s no wonder why Rampage was itching for another chance to fight the aging axe-murder. This fight was significant for one simple reason, revenge. With two successive blocks and a beautifully timed left hook to the jaw, Rampage got his revenge, a win and a nasty KO all in one night.

Rampage accomplished a lot in his career. But the question we now face is, what will he do next? According to Dana, the UFC would like to stay in the Rampage Jackson business and hopes to have him remain on their roster. But as Dana has also pointed out on many occasions, Rampage does what ever Rampage wants. Let’s hope he plans on sticking around and entertaining us just a little more.


19 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    January 28, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Unfortunately for Rampage, part of being exciting and entertaining these days, requires a fighter to excel or at least be very competent in all areas of the sport and, perhaps even more importantly, "not" mind, resent or complain about having to fight in all areas of the sport.

    A the reality of it is / would be, that if Jackson were given only the types of fights he wants, a stand-up and bang war, he would probably begin to complain about fighters who kick too much, because they excel at it and he does not. Rampages' game is, for the most part, a human version of Rock 'em Sock 'em Robot. He would like to just stand in the middle of the cage and trade. And where that might be exciting over the course of a few fights, I think it would eventually bore most fans. I know it would bore me. Fans have become much more sophisticated in their understanding of the sport and subsequently, their expectations of it have grown. People want to see the spinning donkey kicks, the Showtime kicks, John Jones boxing with their elbows and Frank Mir breaking arms. The actually do want to see Cain and Demian Maia ground fight.

    The days of entertaining and exciting as Rampage Jackson understands them are over. He either fails to understand that or chooses not to. I'm not sure of which. Either way, he needs to stop waxing about the olden' times, for they are gone and they don't exist in Bellator, either.

    For Rampage it's time to either hang-it-up or he truly does need "to go back to the drawing board and work on everything" and learn to enjoy it.

  2. Profile photo of enjoylife321

    enjoylife321

    January 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Rampages best performance in my opinion is wanderlie 3. Alot of fighters would have had nothing to do with a third fight after getting finished so brutally. And the fact that he took fights against Glover, chuck, bones, machida and rashad shows that he didn't duck anyone.

    It wouldn't surprise me if rampage made a return to the UFC after 12 months. Tito came back, Bj came back and so did Randy after public dummy spits.

  3. Profile photo of Rock'em Sock'em

    Rock'em Sock'em

    January 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    I wonder what the reason is for his complete abandonment of his wrestling. It seems that just the use of it from time to time would at least open up the opportunity to land some of those "bungalows."
    Could it be an injury? I know I am now 32 and although that may not sound that old, your tendency for injury increases quite a bit from your 20's. I threw out my back for the first time in my life this year and I have studied martial arts my entire life, I couldn't fathom the idea of a take down. I'm not saying he is in that situation but it seems illogical why else he is trapped in this swing for the head mentality.
    I don't know Rampage, you were one of my favorite fighters, you have a lot of talent, fans love you but know no one can get threw to you.

    All the best homeboy.

    P.S I big part of me still thinks you can do it!

  4. Profile photo of GianGiacommo G

    GianGiacommo G

    January 28, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I hate to say this but Rampage shot himself in the foot with Dana&UFC with his constant bickering,whining,bitching&complaining,one can't do that if you really want or need the job,seems to me that he wants nothing to do with UFC but after reading his comments above there's a sense of remorse on his part maybe,only he knows that,I was hoping he would win,he looked good,better than his previous 2 defeats,but in a way maybe Dana is somewhat right when he says that Rampage doesn't take things too serious,if one isn't happy at their workplace then one must move on,still think he didn't try hard enough,nobody likes a whiner,I don't think Bellator is the answer he's looking for,whatever you decided upon best of luck to you sir.

  5. Profile photo of hatch1921

    hatch1921

    January 29, 2013 at 4:08 am

    He needs to hang it up… and if would just think a little more about his "Gary Goodridge" comments….. he wouldn't consider fighting again. Goodridge suffers from dementia…from too many blows to the head. He didn't know when to hang it up and now is suffering for those decisions.

    Rampage checked out 4-5 fights ago… and as I've said in the past… no other company would have gone as far for their employee as the UFC has for this guy.

    Hang it up…. live off the $$$$ you've made……

    Hatch

  6. Profile photo of Akordas

    Akordas

    January 29, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I don't really give a shit about good shows. I am mma fan because I wanna know who is the best fighter on the world.

  7. Profile photo of mmauk

    mmauk

    January 29, 2013 at 10:07 am

    @Bryan fontez Are you a Rampage hater ?
    Since when do you include losses in someone greatest fight list, and not include the fight when he unified the Pride and UFC belts. That match against Rashad was not a great fight either to watch either. Also mma truth made some great points about Rampges attitude which is why that fight with Dan Henderson has to be in that list. He went 5 rounds ''PREPARED'' to wrestle and strike and he did so brilliantly, I was there that night and it's very rare you get a competitive 5 round fight at LHW too. I just hate fact Rampage didn't have the same mentality for that fight throughout his whole career.

    • Profile photo of Entity

      Entity

      January 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Have to agree the Hendo fight was one of his better performances.

      • Profile photo of mmauk

        mmauk

        January 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm

        @Entity
        IMO it was his best all round performance because he was motivated and clearly trained hard on both his cardio & wrestling. I know we have seen him knock out Chuck and Wanderli but like I already said Rampages attitude was great or maybe it was Quinton that fought that night.

        • Profile photo of Bryan Fontez

          Bryan Fontez

          January 30, 2013 at 3:41 am

          I definitely could have added that one! Sorry if I disappointed.

          The Rashad one was even bigger in my opinion because it was the culmination of what was arguably the highest rated season of TUF ever as well as some of the biggest hype and bad blood ever seen between two fighters.

          It was lack luster but it had big implications for both fighters. The Wanderlei loss I posted because of how devastating and career changing it was, not to mention his only time being KO'd ever.

  8. Profile photo of lowstyle

    lowstyle

    January 29, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    the rampage/rashad fight was a a disappointment, nothing great about it. so what if rampage is no longer a top tier guy, theres still good fights out there for him

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