The UFC spent a whole lot of money to pry Quinton “Rampage” Jackson away from Japan’s PRIDE Fighting
Championships and now it’s time for Jackson to earn his money and show off his skills in front of an American audience as he competes for the world light heavyweight belt against “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell.
Rampage has been making his living overseas for some time now and he has built up a Godzilla-sized reputation as one of the baddest men in the world when inside the ring with a 26-6 record that includes 12 victories determined by either KO or TKO. One of his most notable wins came against The Iceman back in 2003 when Jackson threw him hard to the mat and unleashed a barrage of punches that caused Liddell’s corner to throw in the towel. That was the last time that Liddell lost a match.
Since getting pummeled in Tokyo, The Iceman (20-3) has ripped off seven straight victories, won the light heavyweight championship and avenged two (Randy Couture and Jeremy Horn) of his three career losses. Oh, and he whopped some guy named Tito Ortiz’s ass…twice! The only measure of professional revenge that Liddell lacks is a victory over Rampage.
Jackson loves to get a hold of his opponents and slam `em on their heads but Liddell has such an excellent defense against the takedown that this will probably turn into a Liddell/ Ortiz style of stand-up fight. And since both of these guys have tremendous power in their hands and chins made of concrete, nobody will complain about an all out slugfest.
Unlike the debacle that was Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, this fight will be exciting. The Iceman always puts on a show for the fans and he almost never lets the judges decide his fights; in fact, it has been nearly five years since one of his bouts went to the cards. We love Rampage’s entertaining style, both in and out of the octagon, but he doesn’t always perform to his best against the elite competition; just look what happened against Wanderlei Silva (twice) and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Liddell is on top of his game right now and not even a monster of a man like Jackson is going to knock him off his MMA throne.
Prediction: Liddell wins by TKO
The weigh-in will be broadcast live on ESPNews at 3:50pm PT/6:50pm ET on Friday
[UFC.com]: UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson