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UFC 144 Results: 5 Questions We Have About Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

Matthew RyderFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2012

UFC 144 Results: 5 Questions We Have About Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

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    With excitement building about his return to Japan, Rampage Jackson caused alarm for his fans by missing weight for UFC 144.

    From there, it only got worse.

    He went on to lose his scheduled scrap with Ryan Bader and leaving Dana White wringing his hands over losing one of his bankable light heavyweights.

    The loss—his second in a row—combined with his routine talk of retirement, left many people with questions. Some of which include:

What Does He Want from the Fight Game?

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    He’s long talked about money and getting paid for his services in MMA, and even went so far as to let it force him into retirement during a contract dispute. Rampage claimed Hollywood was offering more money, so he backed out of a fight to do The A-Team.

    More recently, he talked about putting on exciting fights. He was even willing to go to heavyweight to do it. No longer was the talk solely about money for Jackson.

    What does he want out of fighting? Mercenary work, or to cement his legacy with good fights? Only he knows the answer.

Can He Evolve?

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    If he sticks around in MMA, people have big concerns about his ability to evolve with the sport. He has tools like wrestling and kickboxing, but he relies almost solely on boxing now. It isn’t effective.

    Can he bring those tools back into his game, from the days when he was running roughshod? The fact that it’s more bringing something back than it is learning something new is encouraging.

Can He Contend Again?

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    If he can evolve, can he be a contender again? He claims to still want to fight and that he’d like to get a shot at Jon Jones again, but is he able to handle the grind to get there?

    There are plenty of stiff tests in the light heavyweight division, and Rampage has plenty of work to do to get past them.

Is His Heart Still in It?

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    Perhaps the biggest concern, people wonder if his heart is still in fighting. He already let a big-money UFC fight pass by for work on a movie, which he enjoyed and looks forward to doing again.

    Factor in that the guy has so many fights, has been in so many wars and is into his mid-30s, one can’t help but question his heart.

    If it’s not there, he may retire. But if it is, there’s a lot to draw him back to the cage in terms of opportunity.

Where Does He Go from Here?

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    If he does come back with an eye on seizing some of the opportunities at 205, one has to wonder where he goes from here?

    Lots would love to see him rematch Shogun Rua, meet the winner of the Alexander Gustafsson/Antonio Rogerio Nogueira fight or be booked to meet Thiago Silva again after he fights Igor Pokrajac.

    Regardless of his preference, there’s plenty of exciting fights for him or fights that mean something. He just has to choose his path.

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