When it was announced that the UFC would be heading back to Japan this year for the first time since 2000, former Pride FC superstar Quinton “Rampage” Jackson feverishly lobbied for a rematch against former Pride rival Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
The two met in the opening round of the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix, with Rua delivering Jackson one of the worst beatings of his career. The matchup couldn’t be put together and Jackson instead faced Ryan Bader in Japan, looking lethargic en route to a unanimous decision loss.
Though Jackson hardly turned in his best performance against Bader at UFC 144, Shogun recently told Tatame that he still has much respect for Rampage and believes it to be inevitable that they meet in the cage at least once more before either of them calls it a career.
“I don’t discard Ryan Bader nor Rampage, Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin… I guess there are many guys I could fight,” said Rua. “Actually, soon I’ll know more about it and I’ll keep you posted. I’m sure I’ll train focused on my opponent and he’s going to be a hard one. The fight against Rampage will happen eventually. It’s inevitable and UFC knows it. He won’t retire before fighting me and neither am I (laughs). I don’t know if he got injured, if he was not feeling ok… It’s hard to know, but Rampage is very professional and deserves to be respected.”
Rua last appeared in action opposite Dan Henderson at UFC 139 this past November losing a razor thin decision in what could have been the greatest fight in MMA history.