UFC 144: Rampage Jackson Should Retire After Loss to Ryan Bader

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21:  Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson attends the Pastrana-Waltrip Racing announcement of the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide partnership on January 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for Waltrip Racing)
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is one of the greatest fighters the sport of Mixed Martial Arts has ever seen. With that said, Jackson’s UFC career needs to be over.

UFC standout Ryan Bader handed Rampage his third loss in five fights, and the three-round battle proved to me and many MMA experts that this storied career needs to end.

Jackson has always said he didn’t want to fight past 35 years old, but at 33 now, it may be the right time for the veteran to admit it’s time to call it quits. After years of hating training and the prep for fights, Jackson has the chance to walk away while many fans still view him as one of the best.

Jackson told MMAjunkie.com about his loss and how, despite the poor performance, the MMA veteran is looking to continue his career:

If I'm going to be critically honest, I'm not surprised that I lost the fight. I almost didn't make it to the fight, but I didn't want to pull out for the Japanese fans. I injured my knee pretty bad, and my doctor told me not to fight.

"But it wasn't real serious. I didn't need surgery or nothing, but he told me it wasn't a good idea to fight. I decided to fight anyway… I know I'm getting to the end of my career because I said I didn't want to fight past 35. But honestly, before I hurt my knee, you guys should have seen the way that I was training.

"I've got really good sparring partners, and I've got this really good wrestler names Tyson Jeffries that kicks my butt, and in this camp, I was kicking his butt. I was taking him down and wrestling got real competitive.

"That's how I hurt my knee because he's one of the best wrestlers I know. I was sparring really good, and I was looking like a superstar, then I hurt my knee. That made me think, 'Oh, man, I've got a lot more time to fight.' When I got hurt, it was just unfortunate, but now, I know what I can do if I come in 100 percent.

While he may not be viewed as one of the best anymore, the long history of amazing fights is something that the UFC star doesn’t want to taint by continuing to lose to finish his career. If he continues to lose, Dana White will have to unceremoniously fire him from the company.

That’s not how I want to remember one of the biggest fan favorites the sport has ever seen. He deserves better than being fired after another loss.

Say what you want about the development of mixed martial arts, but if the fans of the sport don’t give full credit to Jackson for helping bring this to the mainstream, they are truly living a lie.

Rampage has been a face of the sport for over 10 years and watching him fade away isn’t easy, but it’s all too necessary.

While he has enough in the tank to walk away, he should.


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