Rampage Jackson's Worst Fights, A Top Five List

Quinton Jackson vs Wanderlei Silva 1
Pride: "Final Conflict 2003"
Nov. 9, 2003
Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan

Jackson rolled into the finals of the Pride 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix after upsetting the UFC's representative Chuck Liddell in the Semifinal round. Silva had just beaten Japanese Judo Olympian Hidehiko Yoshida in an epic bout. The scene was set for one of the greatest MMA fights of all time. Unfortunately for Rampage, it was also one of the most brutal beatings he would ever receive. Not that Quinton didn't get his licks in. He took Silva down early and administered a beating of his own -- but due to a referee stand up that remains controversial to this day, Silva was able to turn the tides and finished Jackson with an absolutely brutal series of about 20 standing knees to the head.

Quinton Jackson vs Wanderlei Silva 2
Pride 28: "High Octane"
Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan
October 31, 2004

After reeling off a couple of wins, including his famous power bombing of Ricardo Arona, Jackson found himself back in the ring with Wanderlei Silva. This time Silva's Pride Middleweight (205lbs) Championship was on the line. Jackson started the fight off on the right foot by doing well in the early exchanges getting a take down and even dropping Silva with a right hand. Rampage ended the round in side control raining down knees and punches to Silva's head. Unfortunately for Jackson, the round ended before he could finish the champ. In the second round Jackson managed to take Silva down again, but couldn't do much from top position. When Wanderlei got up he hurt Rampage with a right hook that Quinton. From there Silva followed up with a series of brutal standing knees to the face that left Jackson unconscious and falling through the ring ropes, creating an iconic MMA image that is synonymous with utter defeat.

Quinton Jackson vs Mauricio Rua
Pride: "Total Elimination 2005"
Osaka Dome,Osaka, Japan
April 23, 2005

Rampage bounced back from his devastating second loss to Wanderlei by edging out Murilo Rua via split decision. That bought him a ticket into Pride's 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix. Unfortunately Ninja's brother Shogun was his first opponent. Unlike Jackson's first two bouts against Rua's Chute Boxe teammate Silva, Rampage just didn't look like himself in there against Shogun. There's no referee restart to blame for this loss. No, a listless and seemingly intimidated Jackson just plain took a beating from Shogun. The performance would be the first of an amazing run for Shogun that propelled him to the top of the rankings. For Rampage it was the end of his hopes of claiming the Pride title. In a little over a year he'd be out of the organization for good and on his way to the UFC.

Quinton Jackson vs Forrest Griffin
UFC 86: "Jackson vs Griffin"
Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
July 5, 2008

Jackson won six straight fights after the Shogun loss, winning and defending the UFC light heavyweight title along the way. Under the tutelage of boxing trainer Juanito Ibarra, Rampage had perfected his boxing game but he also developed a habit of putting his weight on his front foot -- giving him more punching power but also making him more vulnerable to leg kicks. Griffin took advantage and worked Jackson's legs with savage Muay Thai kicks. Rampage answered with brutal uppercuts but never managed to put Griffin out. Many felt Jackson still did enough to keep his title, but not the judges, who scored it for Griffin. In the aftermath of losing his title, Rampage went on a rampage. He fired Ibarra. Next he stayed up for several days without eating or sleeping, playing video games and slugging energy drinks. Then he made the bad decision to get behind the wheel of his monster truck. The ensuing hit and run and high speed chase landed Quinton in considerable legal and personal trouble.

Quinton Jackson vs Rashad Evans
UFC 114: "Rampage vs Evans"
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
May 29, 2010

Fortunately Rampage was able to turn things around fairly quickly after that fiasco and picked up two UFC wins before igniting one of the biggest feuds in MMA history. After Jackson beat then-champ Rashad Evans' teammate Keith Jardine, the two engaged in an epic in-cage face off and fans looked forward to Jackson's immediate title shot. Unfortunately fans had to wait when Jackson couldn't recover from the Jardine fight in time and his title shot went to Lyoto Machida. Machida destroyed Evans to take the title, but Jackson chose to settle his beef with Evans rather than fight for the title. The UFC ran with the feud and booked Evans and Jackson to coach what became the most seen season of The Ultimate Fighter ever. After a massive buildup, Jackson had to post-pone his match with Evans due to his starring role in The A-Team movie. When they finally did get the two into the cage at UFC 114, the smack talk was truly epic. Over a million fans ordered the PPV to see the two slug it out. No one was more disappointed than Jackson when Evans turned the fight into an exhibition of brilliant gameplanning instead of the hoped-for slugfest. Rashad caught Rampage early with a huge punch to the face and followed up with the first of many take downs. Jackson managed to hurt Evans in the final round but couldn't get the finish and it wasn't enough to stop Rashad from getting the nod from the judges.

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