Following his UFC 144 loss to Ryan Bader, a disheartened and discouraged Quinton "Rampage" Jackson took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Jackson (32-10, 7-4 UFC) has been one of the most loved fighters in the UFC since joining the promotion in 2007, but has seen his share of problems within the promotion.
Jackson had a highly publicized feud with Rashad Evans that led to two men coaching "The Ultimate Fighter." It was supposed to culminate in a fight between the two men, but Jackson decided to star in "The A Team," instead. While the fans finally got to see that fight in May 2010, Jackson was only a shell of his former championship self.
Jackson won his next two fights to set up a title match with Jon Jones, but he never had a chance in the fight. He then lost to Bader, bringing us to where we stand today. Jackson has recently stated that the UFC stands for "u fight cheap," and has asked to be released. While the UFC plans on letting Jackson walk, he will finish up the last remaining fight of his contract when he gets his long-awaited rematch with Mauricio Rua.
In April 2005, Rua defeated Jackson via TKO in the first round at Pride FC - Total Elimination 2005. The Brazilian ironically used soccer kicks to get the win, giving Jackson three losses in his previous six fights. When these two men lock up again (possibly in the summer), fans will see two different fighters from their first meeting. Despite trying to stay positive, Jackson may have too much on his mind when he steps into the Octagon, while the Rua we see today wouldn't be able to compete with younger and more exciting Rua from PRIDE.
When the fight ends and Jackson's UFC career is complete, what will be his lasting legacy? Will he be remembered as a former UFC champion who began the descent in the career of Chuck Liddell? Or will he be remembered as the guy who couldn't back up his talk with Evans? Unfortunately, he will likely be remembered mostly for the latter and his recent tirades.
For as much as he has done for the sport, it seems like his time in the big leagues will be coming to an end, which is not a good thing for anyone. It will leave another spot available for a younger fighter like Alexander Gustafsson to get a chance at stardom.
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
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