Jackson had some incredible moments in
He debuted in the promotion against Kazushi
Sakuraba, upset Igor
Vovchanchyn and stopped Chuck
Liddell. However, his most memorable moment came in June 2004
when he slammed Ricardo
Arona into unconsciousness.
“That was a great moment for me because it was my first fight back
since I broke my hand,” Jackson told the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I was kind of upset at Pride
for not giving me a warm-up fight. Arona was a real tough guy, and
if you go back and watch that fight, Arona was actually kicking my
butt. He was kicking my ass, honestly.”
More specifically, the Brazilian was kicking Jackson’s legs.
“He was giving me those mean leg kicks,” Jackson said. “If Arona
would have kicked me in the leg one more time, I probably would
have showed the pain and went down. … Out of all the fights I’ve
ever been in, even the K-1 fight, Arona had the hardest kicks I
ever felt in my life. He was kicking me right in the same spot over
After the fight moved to the ground, Arona battered “Rampage” with
more kicks from his back.
“He dislocated my jaw, and I went down to recover and to block the
heel kicks and he told the referee I was knocked out,” Jackson
said. “That pissed me off.”
To make matters worse, Arona slapped on a triangle choke. By then,
though, Jackson had lost his temper. What followed was one of the
most brutal slams in MMA history, as “Rampage” lifted his opponent
overhead and powerbombed him back to the mat, ending the fight 7:32
into the first round.
“I just don’t think it’s fair if I lose my temper because honestly,
I probably could have killed Arona if his head would have landed
wrong, or I could have broke his neck, and that would have been on
my conscience for the rest of my life,” Jackson reflected.
“Thank God it only knocked him out and he was OK. That was the only
time I ever lost my temper. I just hope I never lose my temper in a
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at :54).