Anyone who’s been a longtime fan of Quinton Jackson knows that the Rampage we’ve seen over the past three years isn’t very much like the Rampage from PRIDE. The guy who was known for his crushing knees, fight ending slams, and brutal ground and pound boiled things down to an effective but less exciting boxing style. I think the one time we’ve ever seen Jackson aggressively using his wrestling in the UFC was when he took on Dan Henderson in 2007. But according to Quinton’s current coach Lance Gibson, we might get to see some oldschool Rampage on Saturday:
Gibson said he’s focused on bringing diversity back into Jackson’s game. While Jackson was under Juanito Ibarra, he faced some criticism about becoming one-dimensional.
According to Compustrike statistics, Jackson has averaged 89 standing strikes over his seven UFC bouts. Eighty of them have been arm strikes (nearly 90 percent), meaning that Jackson practically abandoned kicks and knees even as Ibarra guided him to a UFC championship reign. Jackson eventually split with Ibarra after losing the title to Forrest Griffin in July 2008.
“I’m bringing back the old Rampage, but new and improved plus more,” Gibson said. “The guy with takedowns, slams, punches, kicks. The man’s got vicious kicks and elbows, and nobody’s seen it yet because he had a manager and trainer who was just a boxer, and he got him in that state of mind. But now he’s ready to go.”
Here’s hoping this is true because there’s still a pretty good chance Quinton will be hitting nothing but thin air on Saturday with his punches. Shogun already showed off a blueprint to defeat Machida, but I have a hard time imagining Rampage being that effective with leg kicks. If he does get back to his roots though, I can definitely see him taking Machida down and pounding on him. That’s still a pretty big ‘if’, though.