CHICAGO – As Quinton "Rampage" Jackson exited the United Center on Saturday following a unanimous decision loss to Glover Teixeira, he eyed UFC president Dana White, his occasional friend and frequent enemy. 

Jackson shouted, "You're going to miss me," when he spied White. White grinned and said, "I miss you already, buddy."

And off Jackson trudged into the bitter cold night toward an uncertain future. Feelings have been hurt and hackles raised and Saturday's bout had a feeling of finality to it.

Over the last several weeks, Jackson said to anyone who had a microphone that Saturday's bout would be the last of his UFC career. He was never quite clear what his plans would include – among the many options would be fighting for another MMA promotion, trying pro boxing or going full-time in acting – but he's been adamant that the UFC phase of his career is done.

He lost a clear unanimous decision to Teixeira, who accepted Jackson's challenge to stand and go toe-to-toe with him and won going away. Two judges had it 30-27 and a third 29-28 in what amounted to Teixeira beating Jackson at Jackson's game.

[UFC on Fox 6 results: Demetrious Johnson outlasts John Dodson in FOTN]

With his contractual obligations fulfilled once the final bell sounded, Jackson skipped the post-fight news conference, but the UFC released quotes from him in which he expressed gratitude for his fans.

"I kind of wish I fought smart and didn't get hit so much, but I always said I would rather lose a good fight than win a boring-ass one and the fans are telling me that was an exciting fight," Jackson said. "So I guess I'm sad, but not so sad. I fought like Rampage tonight. I tried to knock him out with every punch. It wasn't so smart, but if it was fun for the fans, I will take that and be OK with that."

This was a night to showcase a new generation of stars. Lightweight Anthony Pettis was nothing short of spectacular, stopping Donald Cerrone with a vicious kick to the body that left "Cowboy" crumpled in a heap in the center of the cage.

T.J. Grant took Matt Wiman apart with a series of brutal elbows in a bout that White said he told Grant and Wiman at the weigh-in on Friday "really mattered."

And Demetrious Johnson was outstanding in outworking John Dodson in a fast-paced fight to retain the UFC flyweight title.

[Also: Clay Guida's mustache commands attention at UFC on Fox 6]

The story of the night, though, was the swan song of Jackson. He joined the UFC in 2006 when the company bought an entire promotion, the World Fighting Alliance, to acquire his and Lyoto Machida's contracts. 

In the six years since, the colorful Jackson scored some highlight-reel knockouts, but just as frequently created headaches for UFC management. He feuded with White about his decision to film "The A-Team" movie instead of taking a fight with Rashad Evans. He later ripped the company for the way it treated the fighters, but never was specific.

Even as his final days in the company wound down, there was never a clear answer about why he was so angry. There were whispers from some on his team that the company was taking its anger at him out on his teammates like Cheick Kongo and Rob Broughton, but nothing was ever made public.

If White knew, he wasn't saying and he wasn't of a mind to delve back into it.

"I don't know," White said when asked to assess Jackson's UFC legacy. "Rampage is one of those guys that I honestly believe if Glover was fighting anybody else, he would have knocked them out in the first round. Rampage got hit with that shot. Not only can he punch hard, he can take a punch.

"Rampage's biggest problem is that he doesn't always train. He doesn't always stay in shape. If he took this sport 100 percent hardcore serious, God knows what that guy might be able to accomplish. But he doesn't."

[Watch: Which historical figure would Ronda Rousey like to put in his place?]

The irony in that is that a guy who was frequently criticized for failing to train was given a sponsorship deal with Reebok because the company viewed him as a fitness-training athlete. 

Jackson may sign a contract to fight for Bellator, which is now the sport's second-largest promotion. But whether he would be interested in getting into a Bellator tournament, which would require him to fight three times in three months, is highly debatable.

He'll be expensive and it will be hard for Bellator to pay him what he wants when it wouldn't have a pay-per-view platform with which to recoup its investment. Plus, with Jackson 0-3 in his last three fights, it wouldn't look good for Bellator if Jackson went in and reeled off several consecutive wins. 

A more likely scenario might be that he would fight one-off matches in Japan while keeping his hand in the entertainment field.

He helped lift Teixeira toward stardom on Saturday. Jackson and Teixeira embraced in the back after completing their medicals and Jackson told Teixeira he'd be rooting for him to win the UFC title.

It's hardly out of the question for Jackson to decide to return to the UFC, where he has a comfort level and a big platform to pitch his various projects.

He left Saturday, though, as just another dispirited guy who had lost his job and was headed to the cold to look for work.

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Danica Patrick's new beau is a fierce rival
Shabazz Muhammad raises eyebrows after big UCLA win
Tom Brady-Gisele Bundchen 'virtual castle' has a moat
Y! Finance: The truth about Phil Mickelson's taxes

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Secret weapons give Shelton boost ahead of Ultimate Fighter debut

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

Caged Aggression champion Eric Shelton has an edge going into The Ultimate Fighter season 24, sage advice from UFC veteran Pete Spratt and Hall of Famer Pat Miletich. read news >>

UFC on FOX 21 Takeaways: Demian Maia Makes Jiu-Jitsu Cool Again

  • 27 days ago
  • 68 views

UFC on FOX 21 could be the end of a great career, the arrival of another, and the re-emergence of a great former champion. read news >>

UFC Unfiltered: Mickey Gall and Rob Dyrdek

  • 27 days ago
  • 6 views

Mickey Gall calls in ahead of his UFC 203 fight against CM Punk to give his thoughts on what Punk's gameplan will be against him and more. Later, skateboarder, producer, entrepreneur, and reality TV read news >>

Podcast: Ian McCall on Scoggins beef and if CM Punk will win - MMA Plus

  • 25 days ago
  • 15 views

Ian McCall featured on The Mind Diet ahead of UFC 203 and he had plenty to say about previously scheduled competitor, 'young dumb kid' Justin Scoggins. read news >>

UFC's Secret Weapon: Matchmaker Joe Silva Leaves Giant Shoes to Fill

  • 25 days ago
  • 31 views

Joe Silva doesn't like attention. After 21 years spent crafting the UFC into a promotional machine beyond compare in the world of combat sports, the brains of the operation wanted simply to disappear read news >>

UFC Fight Night Arlovski vs Barnett: What you got right & wrong

  • 22 days ago
  • 3 views

UFC fans made their predictions ahead of UFC Fight Night Arlovski vs Barnett - but were they correct? We look at all the prefight picks and see what really happened on fight night. read news >>

Bleacher Report MMA Rankings for September 2016 Ahead of UFC 203

  • 20 days ago
  • 12 views

It's been a while, folks, but the Bleacher Report MMA rankings are back! It's been a hectic month-and-a-half, with a number of major events and a number of good fights going down across nearly every read news >>

Overeem says Miocic enjoying title life too much

  • 19 days ago
  • 2 views

Ahead of their heavyweight championship clash at UFC 203, challenger Alistair Overeem thinks champion Stipe Miocic is enjoying the title life too much and he's hungry enough to take the belt on Sept. read news >>

UFC 203 Weigh-in Results: CM Punk Easily Makes Weight, Overeem Fined $500

  • 17 days ago
  • 317 views

All but one of the UFC 203 competitors made weight on Friday morning, and everyone on the main card came in on the mark. The most anticipated was CM Punk. The former WWE Superstar has had a treasure read news >>

CM Punk Comments on MMA Career, Life After WWE and More

  • 17 days ago
  • 4 views

Ahead of his highly anticipated MMA debut against Mickey Gall Saturday at UFC 203, CM Punk discussed his development as a fighter and his past as a WWE Superstar in The Players' Tribune. Punk said th read news >>