Pride Veteran and Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Rampage Jackson faces former TUF winner, Ryan Bader at UFC 144. In what is a home away from home type of homecoming for Rampage, (as he fight in Japan often during his Pride FC days) he looks to get back in the win column after his submission loss to Jon Jones.
Quietly, it seems that perhaps this should be the swan song for Rampage. Sure, the retirement bug has been going around quite often with Randy Couture, Mirko Cro-Cop, Matt Hughes and possibly BJ Penn hanging up the gloves. With this being the case, why wouldn’t Rampage be next?
The common thread between those fighters is time diminished their skills. All of them seemed to become one dimensional, and there’s no way a fighter can compete when they’re one dimensional.
Randy Couture had his dirty boxing up against the cage and Cro Cop had his head kicks, what does Rampage have?
His knockout power.
Rampage doesn’t set things up with his wrestling, rarely goes for takedowns to set up ground and pound. He doesn’t even through a lot of body shots. He simply headhunts. When a fighter refuses to acknowledge their other gifts, it may be a sign that they aren’t mentally in it like they once were. Adding to that is the fact that the knockout power he relies on hasn’t produced a knockout since 2008!
Maybe he just needs to refocus but if things continue down this path, he may want to contemplate retirement.