Quinton "Rampage" Jackson: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of His MMA Career

Christopher Heathman@@CHeathmanCorrespondent IIJanuary 27, 2013

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of His MMA Career

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    Quinton "Rampage" Jackson suffered another loss in what was probably his last ever appearance inside the UFC octagon at UFC on Fox 6, losing to Glover Teixeira by unanimous decision. The defeat means the former light-heavyweight champion has lost three in a row for the first time in his career.

    He promised a motivated “Rampage” in his final outing under the UFC banner, and his attitude in the fight showed he was not going to just let Teixeira walk away unscathed. Unfortunately, years in the gruelling MMA business has taken its toll on the former champion, and it has shown in his last couple of outings.

    Jackson undoubtedly rustled a few feathers in the build-up for his final UFC appearance, which included speaking out against the premier organization and annoying a lot of MMA fans.

    "Rampage" has never done anything quietly, and this disappointing end is only a fraction of his up and down career which has produced some of the most memorable moments in the history of the sport.

    His failures in recent years are only half the story of an otherwise successful career. His antics outside of competition have both entertained and angered fans, but his performances inside the ring or cage have more often than not entertained fans.

    His feud with Wanderlei Silva was one of the most entertaining MMA had seen. His slams became a signature while he fought for Pride in Japan where he made his name. His popularity carried into the United States where he became the UFC light-heavyweight champion and later unified the Pride and UFC belts.

    A lot has been said about Quinton “Rampage” Jackson recently, mostly negative. But it is easy to forget what he accomplished in the sport of MMA, especially when you look at his recent record.

    With “Rampage” now finished competing in the UFC, here is a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly of his MMA career.

Good: "Rampage" Beats Chuck Liddell in the 2003 Pride Middleweight Tournament

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    "Rampage" Jackson was one of Pride's biggest names. Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell was one of the UFC's biggest names. So when they met for the first time in the semi-final of the 2003 Pride middleweight tournament at Pride Final Conflict, it gained the attention of the MMA world.

    The UFC in particular was so interested, if you can find a video of the bout, you will hear Dana White on commentary telling the regular team how they prepared Chuck Liddell for the fight.

    It was a grueling encounter with a lot at stake as two of the biggest names from the two biggest organizations in MMA clashed for a spot in the tournament final.

    After a long and tiring fight in which Jackson had the edge, the fight was stopped by Liddell's corner, giving Jackson one of the biggest wins of his career and sending "The Iceman" back to the UFC, where he later became the light-heavyweight champion.

Bad: "Rampage" Jackson Loses to Wanderlei Silva in the Middleweight Final

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    After defeating Chuck Liddell, "Rampage" next fought "The Axe Murderer" Wanderlei Silva. Wanderlei was certainly the most dangerous man Jackson had come across, and the Brazilian proved he was the best in the Pride middleweight division in devastating fashion.

    The fight was going well for "Rampage," who was dominating on the ground, but unfortunately for Jackson, Wanderlei recovered and the fight returned to standing.

    "The Axe Murderer" lived up to his violent nickname but used his knees instead of an axe. After one brutal knee landed and dropped Jackson, the onslaught continued until the referee jumped in to stop the fight in round one.

    This first bout created an unforgettable feud between these two titans of the sport, but "Rampage" was soon on the wrong end of Wanderlei Silva's knees again. 

Ugly: Wanderlei Silva Punishes "Rampage" Again with a Brutal KO

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    Almost a year after Wanderlei Silva defeated Quinton Jackson by TKO to win the 2003 Pride middleweight tournament, these two foes met again, but this time for the Pride Middleweight belt.

    A few months earlier at Pride Critical Countdown 2004, "Rampage" defeated Ricardo Aroma by KO via a slam, which remains to this day one of the most memorable moments in Pride history.

    After the fight, Jackson called out "The Axe Murderer," who was the Pride middleweight champion. Wanderlei entered the ring to symbolize his acceptance of the challenge and the two met a few months later.

    "Rampage" once again tried to grapple Silva and dominate on the ground, but as soon as the fighters stood up, there was only going to be one winner.

    Wanderlei used his trusty knees to get the job done once again, but the attack and finish was more brutal and more relentless than in their first outing. "The Axe Murderer" landed one more huge knee to the head, which knocked Jackson out cold.

    It was the first and last KO loss on Jackson's record, and his unconscious body left on the ropes is one of the defining images of his career and of Pride. 

Good: "Rampage" Knocks out Chuck Liddell to Claim UFC Gold

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    When Quinton Jackson finally made the move to America, it was a question of when, rather than if, Jackson would challenge light-heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. After a victory in the World fighting Alliance over Matt Lindland, and a KO win over Marvin Eastman at UFC 67, Jackson was given a title shot.

    After his loss to "Rampage" in Pride, Liddell went on a seven fight winning streak, which included two victories over Tito Ortiz and two victories over Randy Couture, who he beat for the 205lbs title.

    "The Iceman" understandably had a lot of confidence going into the bout, but so did Jackson. In front of the Las Vegas crowd, "Rampage" made short work of the long-term champion by defeating Liddell by TKO within two minutes of round one.

    It was a landmark fight in the UFC, which saw Jackson finally knock Liddell off his perch and began an uncertain era in the light-heavyweight division. It was also the beginning of the end for "The Iceman" 

    It also meant Quinton "Rampage" Jackson had finally captured a world title in MMA, something which had eluded him for a long time. 

Good: "Rampage" Jackson Becomes the First Man to Unify Pride and UFC Titles

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    While "Rampage" was claiming the UFC light-heavyweight crown and making headlines in the States, another legend was taking Pride by storm.

    Dan "Hendo" Henderson had already claimed the Pride welterweight title in a split decision win over Murilo Bustamante in 2005. But a couple of years later, Henderson was aiming for success in the middleweight division.

    Henderson went on to defeat long-reigning middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva by knockout, avenging a previous career loss and becoming the first ever two-weight world champion of Pride.

    The demise of the Japanese organization through the acquisition made by the UFC saw Henderson enter the octagon once again, and he had two titles, which meant two unification bouts.

    "Rampage" was his first foe in a bout to unify the Pride middleweight and UFC light-heavyweight titles at UFC 75 in London.

    This historic bout went the distance and the judges scored the fight in favour of Jackson, who as a result made MMA history as the first man to unify Pride and UFC titles.

    "Hendo" was widely considered as the best 205lbs fighter in the world, but like the UFC taking over Pride as the number one organization, Jackson officially took over as the best with probably his most significant victory at the time. 

Bad: Jackson Loses His Light-Heavyweight Crown to Forrest Griffin

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    "Rampage" Jackson and Forrest Griffin finally faced off at UFC 86 after coaching opposite each other on season seven of The Ultimate Fighter

    Griffin was coming off a shocking, impressive win over Pride legend Mauricio "Shogun" Rua; a win which meant The Ultimate Fighter series one winner would have a shot at the light-heavyweight title.

    Jackson had beaten Chuck Liddell and Dan Henderson in his two previous bouts, and many expected him to beat Griffin. However, his win over "Shogun," someone Jackson had previously lost to in Pride, showed Griffin was not one to be underestimated.

    The fight went the distance, despite Jackson dropping Forrest during the first round. It was a disappointing performance from "Rampage," whose attacks seemed rare and subdued compared to his normally aggressive style.

    As a result of not finishing Griffin when he had the chance, Forrest was given the unanimous decision victory and Jackson had lost his UFC crown. 

Good: Jackson Finally Defeats Wanderlei Silva

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    Jackson was given a great opportunity to recover from his title loss when the UFC booked Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs Wanderlei Silva III for UFC 92.

    It was the third and final battle and ended a feud which was five years in the making. "The Axe Murderer" had previously given Jackson two of the biggest beatings of his career and the only KO loss on his record.

    "Rampage" took full advantage of the opportunity to finally defeat Wanderlei Silva by winning in the first round. Silva was trying to win in the same manner he had done twice before, by knocking out Jackson, but his reckless attacks were punished.

    During a close exchange, Jackson landed a vicious left hook to knock Silva out-cold after 3:21 of the first round.

    Another iconic moment in the career of "Rampage" and it was a victory he seemed to enjoy more than any other. 

Bad: "Rampage" Falls Short Against Rival Rashad Evans

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    Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. "Suga" Rashad Evans was one of the most eagerly anticipated fights in recent years. Fans and the MMA world waited a long time for these two fierce rivals to face each other and they finally came to blows at UFC 114.

    The winner would earn a title shot against "Shogun" Rua, but there was more than a title shot at stake when they stepped inside the octagon.

    The fight went the distance, but "Rampage" never really got going in a fight which was largely dominated by Evans. It was only in the third round when Jackson troubled Rashad when he landed a big shot, but Evans was able to recover and saw out the decision victory.

    Jackson was nearly finished himself in the first round when he was tagged with a right hand, but he spent the rest of the bout being taken down or defending takedowns. But in a fight of such importance, it was a huge disappointment to see such a poor performance from Jackson.

Ugly: "Rampage" Is Dominated in Return to Japan by Ryan Bader

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    There was a lot of build up and excitement as the UFC returned to Japan for UFC 144, even more so as Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was on the card.

    He had made his name in Japan and it was his first return since his last Pride bout six years earlier. Jackson promised a show for his Japanese fans, but Ryan Bader had other ideas.

    After weighing in overweight, meaning the fight was changed to a catchweight bout, questions were raised over the fitness of Jackson. Bader took advantage of the out of shape "Rampage" and took him down repeatedly.

    Other than one trademark slam from Jackson, which was to no avail, there was little to cheer about as Bader grinded out a decision win. The crowd favorite Jackson could do nothing to stop the takedowns and offered nothing in the striking department either.

    This may not have been a KO loss like he suffered at the hands of Wanderlei Silva, but this was ugly. Jackson had spent years in the MMA game, but those years were taking their toll. This was evident in the Bader fight more than ever. Sluggish, out of shape and injured, Jackson's return to Japan was a bitter disappointment for fans and most of all "Rampage"

    What followed was nothing but ugly as Jackson's UFC career ended on a sour note of complaints and bad blood toward the premier organization.