With Quinton “Rampage” Jackson officially returning to the UFC at this evening’s UFC 186 from Montreal following some legal hold-ups with his Bellator contract, now’s the perfect time to take a look back at the top knockouts of the fan favorite slugger’s illustrious career before he takes on a like-minded pugilist in Fabio Maldonado.
Rampage has had a ton of great and inventive knockouts dating back to his days as a rising star in Pride, and that obviously continued on into his days in the UFC. Here are the best:
1.) Ricardo Arona – Pride Critical Countdown 2004:
This one’s a no brainer as it’s obviously the one highlight you’ll see featured at the forefront of every chronicling of Rampage’s past glories. Taking on a then-surging Ricardo Arona in 2004, a prime Rampage created a counterattack to the vicious Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt’s triangle choke attempt by lifting him in the air and slamming him down with a power bomb, knocking him out and instantly etching his image into the lore of MMA history. Bask in all of its glory above.
2.) Chuck Liddell – UFC 71:
This defining bout earned Rampage the UFC light heavyweight championship from the once dominant “Iceman,” signifying a change of guard in the UFC. Rampage put an end to Liddell’s five-fight win streak with a monstrous left hook, ushering in his era as a true superstar in the UFC. An amazing knockout, and a truly transcendent moment in only Rampage’s second UFC bout.
3.) Wanderlei Silva – UFC 92:
This knockout was sweet revenge for Rampage, as it avenged two previous losses to “The Axe Murderer” at Pride Critical Conflict 2003 and Pride 25. Nailing Silva with a massive shot that he became well known for, Rampage won the final bout of their trilogy and furthered his legacy with another defining knockout.
4.) Masaaki Tatake – Pride 20:
This lesser known bout against Japanese fighter Masaaki Tatake featured a nevertheless brutal knockout from Rampage, as he took offense to his opponent’s brash disrespect prior to the bout. A cocky Tatake slapped hands pre-fight, but Rampage got the last laugh by lifting him up in a huge suplex before following up with absolutely unnecessary ground punches. Another classic Rampage slam KO.
5.) Kevin Randleman – Pride 25:
Although several bouts could have potentially occupied this spot, I chose Jackson’s knockout of Randleman because it showed the well-round skills of Rampage in his prime. Nullifying the touted wrestling abilities of former Ohio State standout Kevin Randleman, Rampage used his striking to score a big knee before rocking Randleman with punches to mount and absolutely destroy him on the ground. This fight is a reminder of just how good Rampage truly was earlier in his career.