It seemed like only yesterday when we saw Quinton “Rampage” Jackson knocking out just about everybody, defeating them with a single crushing blow or a powerbomb. It was something out of WWE, a fighter who can easily use his strength to beat all that stand in his way, or get knocked out trying.

Jackson was one of the most entertaining fighters around. When you watched one of his fights, you just knew that no matter what, it was going to be glorious.

Lately though, that hasn’t been the case. Wrestler after wrestler has fought Jackson, and with each fight it seemed Jackson’s takedown defense became the biggest exploitable weakness of his game. Each opponent took him down and avoided the deadly lethal hands that earned Jackson his “Rampage” persona.

Now, Jackson heads over to the Bellator light heavyweight division with the likes of Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal and Renato “Babalu” Sobral, two other fighters who have made a name for themselves in the sport and remain Zuffa outcasts.

Rampage is 0-3 in his last three fights, where he fought the best the division had to offer. All the fighters he faced in that time used their grappling to win the fight. According to some fans, who believe Rampage stole a decision victory away from Lyoto Machida, Jackson has really won only once in his last six fights.

Bellator got a great deal here. Although Rampage may not be the fighter he once was, striking fear into the hearts of his opponents, he is still Rampage. He still can sell quite a few seats, and in a division like Bellator’s light heavyweight class, maybe he can do what Lawal couldn’t: win the tournament and become the Bellator champion. That is certainly within the realm of possibility for Rampage.

The talent level of Bellator’s light heavyweight division isn’t quite on par with the UFC, but it certainly can pose a test for Rampage. Jackson has the deadly hands to stop anybody, and those hands have rightfully earned him 14 knockouts in his career. His boxing may not be at the same level as it once was and he may be looking to make each fight into a brawl, but until someone knocks him out—which hasn’t happened since 2005—that’s what he should stick to. It’s his bread and butter, why stray away from it?

At this point in his career, Rampage isn’t going to master takedown defense, but that isn’t and hasn’t been Jackson’s style. He knocks people out, he puts on a show for the fans. In the end, he is an entertainer. If he isn’t knocking out the other guy, he will die trying.

Bellator emerges as a big winner if Jackson reverts to his old form. He’ll be able to take advantage of the thinner ranks of Bellator’s 205-pound division and the step down in competition that comes with trading in the UFC for a run in Bellator.

Jackson’s old fights, especially under the Pride banner, are what got some fans into the sport. Heck, I can remember watching him slamming Ricardo Arona into oblivion and being instantly awestruck.

Jackson’s name still sells tickets and still pulls viewers in, why? Because he is a legend of the sport. People will want to see him, whether he finds success or fails. He just needs to find the old magic that made him a huge fan favorite in his Pride days. If he does, boy, did Bellator get a great deal here.

Photo: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Sherdog)

About The Author

Sal DeRose
Staff Writer

Sal hails from New Jersey and is currently training for his first MMA fight. He hopes to use his knowledge and insight to generate articles that interest and entertain you. Outside of MMA, Sal is a big fan of every other sport. He's a diehard New York sports fan, with the exception of cheering for the Packers.