Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson’s journey through the world’s best fighters at the light heavyweight division by way of the UFC may be headed towards its end.
Jackson compiled an impressive record as a fighter, (32-10, 7-4 UFC) competing against the best that the world has to offer in its best two leagues. Jackson’s time in Pride is very memorable to all MMA fans who have an appropriate sense of history. Japan has never been the same since Jackson howled for the first time on his way to the ring. Likewise, the UFC’s light heavyweight division will have a completely different look and feel.
It just will not be the same.
Female UFC reporters will no longer have the threat of being motor boated or dry humped. And the trademarked, Rampage slam may have done its worst in the UFC.
Jackson expressed his desire to leave the UFC in an interview with HDNet’s Bas Rutten.
“I don’t want to fight for the UFC no more,” he told Rutten. “I think the fans don’t understand. They think that just because I make a lot of money, I should be happy – because I’ve got a nice house. I’ve always stated that I fight for money because it’s my career, but I think a lot of fans are sheep, and they don’t understand.”
Jackson and UFC’s leading voice, Dana White, have butted heads repeatedly over the course of their fighting relationship. Including an extended period in 2009 when Jackson stepped away from the Octagon to pursue Hollywood ambitions.
Jackson eventually found his way back to the UFC after his rendition of the A-Team didn’t fare so well on the open market.
Though Jackson and the UFC do not seem headed for a happy reunion this time.
Once past the inherent nostalgia involved with losing a superstar, pressing questions remain.
What is next for Jackson?
The immediate answer is a slugfest rematch with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua.
What a way to end your UFC career.
Jackson is looking for redemption for a loss to Rua during their time in Pride. It is an enticing bout that many fans are craving for. Jackson should exhibit a passion that has been lacking in his previous fights because this fight is different.
It is a job application because Jackson has said that he still has fights left in his body.
“If anybody thinks that I can’t make my own career choices and stuff like that, then you’re a bigot. I can do whatever the hell I want to do. I’m a grown man. I don’t want to have to fight for somebody no more if they’re not really appreciating me.”
Rua versus Jackson is a compelling fight for a myriad of reasons. Fans can be assured that both fighters are looking to win in dramatic fashion early by way of the knockout.
So do not expect this match to last all five rounds. Expect a thrilling knockout.
Jackson has unfinished business in the UFC besides his impending rematch with Rua. He still wants to avenge the loss that cost him his championship belt.
UFC viewers will be left wondering what would have happened had Jackson and Forest Griffin brawled again in the Octagon.
There are not many upscale alternatives to the UFC, so this may be the end. There is no Strikeforce or Pride to fall back on.
If it is truly the last time we will see Jackson, we should really enjoy the moments and visuals that he has given us.
The rope chain, and chain link chain will never have the same meaning. His ‘mean mug’ will never be duplicated. Most of all the great knockouts, Chuck Liddell comes to mind, will never be forgotten.