When it looked briefly as though his campaign for a spot on the UFC’s first fight card to be held in Japan, the place where he made his bone, wouldn’t come to fruition, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson let his anger be known.
Shortly thereafter, it was announced that he’d be taking on Ryan Bader in the night’s co-main event. Jackson admits that he had to hound UFC president Dana White for the spot, but that it was worth it to get a chance to compete for the fans that cheered him on from the stadium during his heyday competing for the Pride Fighting Championships.
“I had a lot of success here, but the real reason I was so anxious to be on this UFC 144 card is that have a special bond with the Japanese fans,” Jackson said. “I’ve really missed fighting here, just the whole energy of the place and how they go crazy but they are also so respectful at the same time. I was so determined to make sure I was on this card. I must have asked Dana about it a thousand times. I guess he got tired of me asking and put me as the co-main event with Ryan Bader. Honestly, I’d have been cool as a prelim guy for this fight, just put me on the card!
“I’m so happy, so excited to be here. I’ve seen some old friends, fans of mine who became friends, who are coming to the fight and I can’t wait for UFC 144 this weekend.”
Now that he’s secured his spot on the fight card, Jackson says he is focused only on putting on a show for those fans and friends, with no thought put toward winning or losing.
“I’m going to go on the Rampage in Japan. I’m going to go back to my old style and just whup his ass,” he said. “He’s a good fighter, he can punch and wrestle like me, but I want to fight like I did in Japan, just fight and give the fans a fight they will remember for years like they do my Pride days. That’s all I care about. I’m looking to do some slams, my powerbomb and knocking Ryan Bader out!”
Jackson gets his chance this Saturday night, when he and Bader meet in the co-main event of UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.