Former Pride FC superstar Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was intent on delivering an exciting fight for the Japanese fans; though he didn’t exactly fail in that regard, he certainly didn’t give his best showing.
Citing a knee injury he suffered in camp, Rampage showed up to the weigh-ins five pounds over the light heavyweight limit and showed the effects of a tough weight cut during the fight. Bader ably dealt with Rampage in every area of the match: sticking and moving to avoid Jackson’s well-advertised punching power and out-wrestling him down the stretch.
Jackson was able to touch Bader a few times and drill him through the canvas with a trademark slam, but his efforts resulted in a unanimous decision loss. Many are wondering if Jackson simply had an off night due to the knee injury hampering his training, or whether this is the culmination of his waning interest in the sport — a sign that he already has one foot out the door. Speaking with Ariel Helwani for Fuel TV, UFC president Dana White revealed that he’s among that number.
“Absolutely. I agree with you a hundred percent and I’m disappointed,” said White. “He’s been saying leading up to this fight, ‘I’m not excited about fighting Bader’ — you better be excited about fighting Bader ’cause Bader’s coming in to win, he’s coming in to beat you. Just, talk like that drives me crazy, missing weight drives me crazy. I do also question if he wants to do this anymore.”
Despite feeling that way, White does believe that we’ll be seeing Jackson grace the Octagon again — just how he’ll look when he does is another story.
“Yes, we’ll see him back,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll see the old Rampage. The motivated, hungry, guy who comes in and goes toe-to-toe, isn’t as one-dimensional, with just punching. So, we’ll see what happens.”