Shogun's first non-Bushido event fight with Pride came against Hiromitsu Kanehara, an opponent he defeated via first-round knockout. The victory earned him a spot in Pride's Middleweight Grand Prix, a 16-man tournament single elimination tournament that ran during the spring and summer of 2005.
Shogun's first-round opponent? None other than the man they call "Rampage."
Quinton Jackson entered the bout fresh off a decision win over Rua's older brother, Murilo. The question was, could Jackson go 2-0 against the Ruas, or would he find the same type of albatross in Shogun he had found in the Brazilian's friend, Wanderlei Silva, who had already annihilated him twice.
The answer was very much the latter option—the match was a one-sided thrashing that was every bit as violent as either of Silva's wins over Jackson.
Shogun relentlessly pressured Jackson, only pausing between hooks and uppercuts to throw his brand of menacing head-kick.
At the 4:47 mark of Round 1, "Rampage" could take no more and crumpled to the ground after a battering of knees from the clinch sapped the last of his physical fortitude.
The win really put Shogun on the map. Not only as an elite fighter, but also as one of the most exciting and active mixed martial artists on the planet.