Considering that Rampage Jackson was one of the hottest prospects in Pride FC and went on to be UFC Light-Heavyweight champion, things didn’t turn out quite as many expected. The twilight of his UFC career was marred by consecutive losses to Jon Jones, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira, which added to his previous losses against Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin.
You could argue that Rampage’s decline was due to his attitude towards fighting, but injuries to his knees also played a regular role in him looking like James Toney come fight time.
Many fans wrote Rampage off when he left for Bellator this year, but Bjorn Rebney (obviously) promoted Jackson with WWE-style promos with Tito Ortiz. It looks like another case of promoting names rather than (old) fighters. But Rebney revealed that Rampage is on the mend.
Check out what the Bellator CEO said via MMAJunkie.com:
“I sat down and had a lot of conversations with Quinton about what was missing, and the thing that he kept going back to over and over again was, ‘I’ve been fighting on knees that I couldn’t even press off on,'” Rebney said. “We were at the office one day and he took me down to the car, and he was like, ‘I can’t even get in and out of my car. If I can’t get this fixed, I’m never going to be the fighter that I was again.’
So we looked at the different options, and this was the first step. If this worked perfectly, and it worked really well, then we could stop with that step. If it didn’t, then the option was to have knee surgery. But this worked well; so well that we haven’t needed to do anything else.”
Rampage in 100 percent condition hasn’t been seen for many years now, and I would actually be intrigued if he shows up to the pre fight shows in top condition. The fight with Ortiz is likely to be a ‘loser goes home’ competition, although Bellator isn’t as trigger happy as the UFC with its fighters.
I always want to see UFC rejects do well, even a guy like Rampage that can be a bit of an oddity at times. Someone with such a natural talent for beating the stuffing out of his opponents, but quite often uses all of his energy making ridiculous pre-fight hype that can’t be lived up to.
I don’t like to see squandered talent so I really do hope that ‘Page can still pull it out of the bag. The Pride FC slam master is 35, old for a fighter who’s been through many wars, but not too old to still put on some great shows. Either that or get him on the TRT and have MMA tag matches against The Bushwhackers…..no?