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Rampage on the ropes
Rampage was long gone.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson gave more of a show as he exited United Center than he did in his UFC on FOX 6 co-main event that Glover Teixeira dominated for a unanimous decision victory at United Center on Saturday night.
"He just walked out and screamed, 'You're gonna miss me!'" UFC president Dana White relayed. “I said, ‘I miss you already, buddy.’”
Maybe Rampage the name. Rampage the movie star. Rampage from five years ago.
The Rampage in the Octagon was nothing to feel misty about. He was winded by the second round and maybe his lone victory on the night was not getting knocked out by Teixeira, who extended his winning streak to 18 consecutive fights.
Jackson, 34, spent the final few seconds of the final fight of his UFC contract on his back as Teixeira fired away from the mount. While losing of late wasn't new for Jackson, there was a rare scene in a Fuel TV post-fight interview: a contrite and introspective Jackson.
“I’ve been fighting 13 years and the game has changed,” said Jackson, who didn’t appear at the post-fight news conference. “I don’t know if I can compete with the top people anymore. This is the first time I’ve lost three fights in a row. I have a lot of thinking to do. I am not going to give up. I feel like I can come back if I put my mind to it.”
Jackson, a former light heavyweight champ, certainly hasn’t adapted, preferring to trade punches rather than go back to his wrestling roots to become a more complete fighter like champ Jon Jones. Teixeira, the target of Jackson’s taunts in recent days, actually gave Jackson the fight he wanted as he stood and traded all three rounds.
“I tried to knock him out,” Teixeira said. “I said, ‘I’m going to stand with you and I’m going to try to knock you out.’ I knew knocking Rampage out is a tough thing to do. I did my best. I just stood and said, ‘Let’s see what’s going to happen.’”
Teixeira got a few good shots in on Jackson, who showed — at the very least — he can take a punch.
“If Glover was fighting anybody else, he would have knocked him out in the first round,” White said.
Maybe that’s what we’re left with when we’re looking to praise Jackson. It certainly hasn’t been his attitude, not that Jackson’s brashness is anything new. (Especially for White, the focus of many of Jackson’s barbs.) Jackson certainly didn’t ingratiate himself to the media this week as he was combative at a news conference, at least when he wasn’t playing video games.
He’s even gone after his own fans at times, although — judging by the applause here during the few fleeting moments he tagged Teixeira — he remains a popular figure in the sport.
And the cast member of the “A-Team” movie looks to parlay the popularity at another MMA promotion. He said Saturday that maybe the twilight of his career would follow that of Gary “Big Daddy” Goodridge, a showman who was a huge draw even late into his kickboxing and MMA career.
“He’s one of the guys who can put on a great show,” Jackson said. “He taught me it’s all about the show.”
Goodridge is also a sad tale of somebody who hung on too long. He was diagnosed last year with the degenerative brain disease pugilistic dementia.
For legends like Jackson, moving onto another league or, in this case, possibly another sport (boxing) is easier than choosing what’s prudent.