Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson didn’t get the knockout he wanted, but he did score a victory in his return to the Octagon Saturday night at UFC 186.
Competing for the first time in over two years for the UFC, Jackson showed off a diverse striking attack, mixing in lefts and rights with kicks and even clinch work.
Jackson (36-11) has now won four in a row, with the previous three coming in Bellator MMA. That promotion attempted to keep Jackson from fighting in Montreal, but a judge in New Jersey overturned the decision last week.
“I had to fight just to get here,” Jackson said. “I wanted to come here and fight in front of you Canadian fans. I had to fight just to get here because haters were trying to get me stopped from coming back to the UFC.
“I thought (leaving) would be better, but I was wrong. I’m the first to admit it. UFC is the best organization on the planet.”
In Maldonado, Jackson received the perfect return foe, as the Brazilian was willing to engage in a stand-up affair. Previously, Jackson had trouble with wrestlers such as Jon Jones, Ryan Bader and Rashad Evans.
Jackson connected on 47-percent of his strikes, including 99 signficant one. Maldonado was 1-for-1 in takedowns and landed 94 strikes.
“I trained to knock him out, but (Maldonado) must have got a chin of steel,” he said.