By: Joshua Carey
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has returned to Japan for the first time since PRIDE 31 in 2006.
Jackson, who spent five-years fighting in the country during his tenure under the aforementioned PRIDE banner meets Ryan Bader in the co-headliner at UFC 144’s pay-per-view inside Saitama Super Arena.
With a professional career that spans 13 years, “Rampage” may very well be fighting for the final time in front of his Japanese fans and he’s excited to put on a show.
“I just really want to put on an exciting fight for the fans here, because I really missed them and I begged for this fight and stuff like that,” Rampage stated during open-workouts. “So, I just want to put on an exciting fight and at the end of the day my job is to entertain people.”
He made a successful professional debut in his hometown of Memphis, Tn. in 1999 and victories over former champions Chuck Liddell (twice), Kevin Randleman, Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, and Lyoto Machida have made him a legend of the sport.
In 2007, a decision victory over Henderson made “Rampage” the only fighter to unify the PRIDE and UFC light-heavyweight championships.
With that being said, there’s not much he hasn’t accomplished in the Mixed Martial Arts world. However, the last remaining achievement would be an Octagon victory over Bader in Japan.
“I had a lot of success here, but the real reason I was so anxious to be on this UFC 144 card is that have a special bond with the Japanese fans,” Jackson said. “I’ve really missed fighting here, just the whole energy of the place and how they go crazy but they are also so respectful at the same time.
“I was so determined to make sure I was on this card. I must have asked Dana (White) about it a thousand times. I guess he got tired of me asking and put me as the co-main event with Ryan Bader. Honestly, I’d have been cool as a prelim guy for this fight, just put me on the card.”
Needless to say, given his following among the Japanese fans UFC officials weren’t going to put Jackson on the preliminary portion of Saturday’s seven bout pay-per-view main card.
With 12 victories coming under the Japanese lights, “Rampage” will clearly be the fan favorite against Bader and he fully plans on delivering a spectacular show for everyone in attendance.
“I’m going to go on the Rampage in Japan,” Jackson said. “I’m going to go back to my old style that and just whup his ass. He’s a good fighter, he can punch and wrestle like me, but I want to fight like I did in Japan, just fight and give the fans a fight they will remember for years like they do my PRIDE days.
“That’s all I care about. I’m looking to do some slams, my powerbomb and knocking Ryan Bader out!”Tags: featured, MMA NEWS, Strikeforce, strikeforce news, ufc news