Bellator 120: Keys to Victory for Rampage Jackson
On Saturday night, Bellator will have its first-ever pay-per-view, featuring an interim lightweight title fight between Michael Chandler and Will Brooks and a main event pitting Quinton "Rampage" Jackson against Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal.
These two have had bad blood for a while and have been trash talking since Rampage was in the UFC and King Mo was in Strikeforce.
Rampage has a tough fight ahead of him, so let's take a look at his keys to victory Saturday night.
Avoid the Clinch
Against Joey Beltran at Bellator 108, Rampage won via first-round knockout. However, Beltran easily controlled him in the clinch, and Rampage wasn't able to get any of his own offense going before the KO.
King Mo is a former Division I wrestler and will be far better in the clinch than Beltran. If Lawal can get close, he will control the fight.
That takes me to my next point...
Avoid the Takedown
Rampage has shown he is susceptible to the takedown, and it isn't always easy for him to get back up. King Mo will be looking to take him down at some point, and Rampage has to know that.
If he can avoid the takedown and keep the fight on the feet, he stands a much better chance of winning.
Keep His Distance and Use Leg Kicks
By keeping his distance, Rampage will be able to better avoid the clinch and takedowns.
Also in his fight against Beltran, Rampage showed some solid leg kicks. He can use those against King Mo, as long as he doesn't get taken down.
Throw Combos but Don't Overpursue
When Rampage throws combos, he lands. He knocked out Beltran with a combo, and he started to finish Christian M'Pumbu on a combo as well.
The one thing he can't do is overpursue. Against Beltran, Rampage ran right at him, swinging wildly. If he does that against King Mo, he'll get planted right on his butt.
Keep His Cool
These two have had bad blood for a long time.
At the weigh-ins on Friday, Rampage immediately started trash talking to King Mo and shoved him. The two had to be separated.
If Rampage is easily provoked in the cage, he will end up getting taken down and beaten up.
If he keeps his cool, keeps his distance and throws leg kicks and combos, he has every chance to win the fight.