When news broke last night (Tues., April 21, 2015) that a New Jersey Superior Court preliminary injunction forcing Quinton “Rampage” Jackson off of this Saturday’s (April 25, 2015) UFC 186 pay-per-view from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, had been overturned, the fluttering card got quite the much-needed boost.
After all, Jackson is a former light heavyweight champion on a three-fight win streak, and even though he dropped his last three bouts in the UFC (albeit to current top-ranked challengers Jon Jones, Ryan Bader, and Glover Teixeira), he’s without a doubt the biggest name on the injury and PED-depleted UFC 186 card.
That card features surging flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, who takes on impressive challenger Kyoji Horiguchi in an attempt to score his sixth title defense. It’s becoming clear that pound-for-pound standout Johnson should be the focal point of most shows he’s on, but that success just hasn’t translated into mainstream attention or a big following.
A lot of that has to do with Johnson’s calm and cool demeanor, as he makes it a point to never call anyone out after his victories. As we’ve seen with Irish star Conor McGregor, that strategy isn’t the best (or quickest) path to success in today’s social media-fueled UFC landscape.
The card obviously needed some serious star power after bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw was forced out of his main event rematch with Renan Barao and Hector Lombard was unable to face Rory MacDonald after testing positive for steroids at UFC 182.
The previous replacement co-main event of Michael Bisping vs. C.B. Dollaway just didn’t have that firepower considering the veritable middleweight smorgasbord fight fans were treated to at last weekend’s UFC on FOX 15 for free.
Rampage’s return certainly adds name recognition and the potential for a great fight against Fabio Maldonado in the co-main event. But is that enough to make you buy the card on pay-per-view?