Quinton “Rampage” Jackson exploded back onto the scene in December, knocking out Wanderlei Silva with a left hand from hell.
It seemed clear after the fight Jackson was on his way back to the top to reclaim the belt which he feels was unjustly taken from his waist. Even UFC president Dana White stated Quinton is next in line for a shot at the Light-Heavyweight title.
Rashad Evans, however, was coming off a tough three-round fight with Forrest Griffin and needed extra time off to rest. With this news, Rampage became Dana’s new "Chuck" and decided to fight regardless.
His next scheduled bout is with Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine, who is coming off a win over former Heavyweight Brandon Vera. Jardine is a well-respected fighter in the Light-Heavyweight division.
He is especially known for a few things: His awkward style, toughness, and his upsets. He has already defeated two of the UFC’s former champions, Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. I wonder if Rampage could be the third former champ on his upset list.
Jardine’s style scores all the right signs for a Rampage upset. Jardine picks apart fighters with his herky-jerky movements, but he feasts upon counter strikers who cannot get comfortable with this style.
Rampage is most diffidently a counter striker who waits for his opportunity and then lands a big shot. The problem is whether Jackson will ever find that big shot. Another big aspect of Jardine’s game is his leg kicks which we have seen can be a problem for Jackson.
Jardine has shown flaws that Rampage can take advantage of if he decides to change his game. Powerful strikers such as Houston Alexander and Wanderlei Silva have shown the best way to Jardine’s chin is aggressiveness. Both these fighters turned the fight into a brawl and knocked out Jardine in the first round.
Jardine has a tendency to get into a brawl. He also did this with Forrest, but Griffin didn’t have the power to put him away or the chin to withstand the blows. Rampage has plenty of power and a pretty solid chin and this may not be the only way to win the fight but should be one to look into.
I am a huge Rampage fan and believe that he will win the fight, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried.