On Saturday night at UFC on Fox 6, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson probably fought for the final time in the UFC.
It was probably MMA's worst-kept secret of the new year, though to call it a secret is probably to distort the definition of the word to the point of disfigurement. Jackson, now 32-11 and past his prime but still kicking at age 34, has been shockingly no shrinking violet in discussing his anticipated last ride with the UFC, his displeasure with the promotion and his desire to continue his career somewhere—anywhere—else.
Following Jackson's rousing but unequivocal decision loss to Glover Teixeira on Saturday night, it seems apropos to stroll back through Jackson's memorable UFC run. For a truly memorable run it was. But what, exactly, made it so?
Inside the Octagon, you can't help but recall Jackson shocking the world with a knockout of Chuck Liddell at UFC 71 to take the belt. He then proved it was no fluke by unifying the UFC and Pride 205-pound titles at UFC 75 with a decision over Dan Henderson.
Even after he lost the belt to Forrest Griffin, Jackson still made plenty of highlights. Most notably, perhaps, was his exacting of some frontier-style justice on Wanderlei Silva. Jackson won the third in their series of fights that traced back to Pride, famously pounding Silva a few times after Jackson's TKO blow forced the referee's intervention.
What will you remember most about Quinton Jackson's UFC run?
But if we're being honest, the stuff inside the cage only tells part of "Rampage" Jackson's UFC story.
There was that time in 2008 when he led police on a crazy car chase. (No word on whether Jackson called police, and/or exclaimed, "You know who this is, dammit!" Sorry.) There was the time—excuse me, times—he got dirty with a female reporter. And of course, there were the repeated knocks on the UFC, each one of which struck its target with a varying degree of accuracy.
And certainly there were his two coaching turns on The Ultimate Fighter, which created and/or fueled good storylines with Griffin and Rashad Evans while showcasing Jackson's rather, eh, robust sense of humor.
That brings us to the coup d'etat. After all, who could forget The Midnight Meat Train?
Certainly plenty to digest in both phases. But when you drill down to the brass tacks, the data tell you the highs of Jackson's fight career happened outside the UFC.
Sure, he won his only championships inside the Octagon, but overall he finished 7-5. That means he garnered 22 percent of his career wins in the UFC, compared with 45 percent of his losses.
Bottom line: Quinton Jackson has enjoyed success everywhere as a pro, but the UFC portion of his legacy was shaped most—both for better and for worse—by his turbulent personality.
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