26 February 2012
For a fighter who had openly campaigned for a spot on the UFC 144 card, the promotions much hyped return to Japan, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson sure didn’t fight in his usual spirited fashion. In his Saturday co-featured bout with Ryan Bader, Rampage was outworked over three largely one-sided rounds.
While many saw the fight as a “pick em” contest, Jackson had already resigned himself to defeat before the opening bell even rang.
Jackson goes into detail with MMA Junkie’s John Morgan:
“I almost didn't make it to the fight, but I didn't want to pull out for the Japanese fans," Jackson said. "I injured my knee pretty bad, and my doctor told me not to fight. But it wasn't real serious. I didn't need surgery or nothing, but he told me it wasn't a good idea to fight. I decided to fight anyway."
Jackson’s trademark intensity was noticeably absent Saturday night and despite all his pre-fight bluster, the man we know as Rampage seemed to be a shell of his former self. While Jackson has made it clear that he will be back stronger than ever you have to wonder if this is just the next step in the gradual eroding of Jackson’s prime.
While it is almost a certainty that Jackson will be back, the question is if he will ever regain the glory that has made him a household name.