Though the promotion is long since dead, the memory of the Pride Fighting Championships lives on fondly in the hearts and minds of hardcore MMA fans the world over. Rife with soccer kicks and head stomps, the Pride era created legends, played host to some of the most exciting, dramatic fights in MMA history and fostered an epic aura that lives on to this day.
Now, the overwhelming majority of the still-relevant Pride competitors call the UFC their home and, though some have stumbled, many of them have retained their status as some of the top fighters in their respective divisions. Two such fighters are Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, who have both won the UFC light heavyweight title and were both recently defeated by current divisional kingpin Jon Jones. Jackson and Rua engaged in a memorable battle in the opening round of the Pride 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix, which saw Rua hand Jackson arguably the most severe beating of his career.
Rampage maintains that, for several reasons, he should not have taken that fight against Shogun and would like to test himself in a rematch. Following his loss to Jones over the weekend, he called for that bout to be held at the UFC’s impending February return to Japan’s Saitama Super Arena – the former home of Pride.
“I want to go to Japan in February and fight Shogun,” said Jackson. “That’s what I want, rematch with Shogun in Japan. Put it together, Dana.”
At the time, Jackson didn’t realize that Shogun was already slated to face another Pride veteran in Dan Henderson this November, thereby making a February return date unlikely for Shogun. Though it may not happen in Japan, Rua said today that he believes a rematch with Rampage is destined to happen eventually.
“Yes, I thought it was pretty cool,” Rua said when asked if he had heard Rampage call him out. “Rampage is actually a guy that I like a lot as a person, his personality. I think this fight is bound to happen sooner or later, down the road at some point. I don’t know when, but eventually it will happen. So, we’ll see.”