Quinton Ramone "Rampage" Jackson (born June 20, 1978) is an American professional mixed martial arts fighter who rose to prominence with his fights in Japan's PRIDE Fighting Championships. He is the current UFC light heavyweight champion. He has a professional record of 28 wins with six losses. MMAWeekly.com and Sherdog.com rank Jackson as the number one light heavyweight in the world. Outside the ring, he is known for his humor and colorful personality.
He has wins over: Kevin Randleman, Murilo Bustamante, Ricardo Arona, Igor Vovchanchyn, Murilo Rua, Matt Lindland, Chuck Liddell and Dan Henderson.
Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, USA, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson had his first taste of combat sport as a wrestler for Raleigh Egypt High School where his successful career was punctuated by All-State honors. Originally, Jackson had intended on pursuing a career in professional wrestling upon finishing high school, but ultimately ended up extending his amateur career in junior college before discovering mixed martial arts. Impressed by the success of other wrestlers in MMA, Jackson decided to try his own hand at the sport. Jackson built up an impressive record of 11 wins and 1 loss fighting for a variety of smaller scale American promotions, including King of the Cage, Gladiator Challenge and Dangerzone.
For all his early successes it was not on his native soil but rather in Japan's PRIDE organization that Jackson rose to fame in the world of mixed martial arts. Entering PRIDE in 2001 as a previously unknown fighter, Jackson was matched at PRIDE 15 against fellow wrestler and Japanese superstar Kazushi Sakuraba, who was at that time PRIDE's most prominent domestic fighter. Jackson lost due to a rear naked choke from Sakuraba, but his performance opened the eyes of PRIDE's fan base and its executive office.
After besting pro-wrestler Alexander Otsuka in a fight for the Battlarts promotion, Jackson was invited back for PRIDE 17 where he scored a knockout victory over Otsuka’s training partner, Yuki Ishikawa. In his next fight, Jackson was disqualified for an accidental low blow against Daijiro Matsui.
Jackson then went on to defeat Masaaki Satake, Igor Vovchanchyn, Kevin Randleman and Mikhail Illoukhine in successive PRIDE bouts. He also made forays into kickboxing with a pair of victories over kickboxer Cyril Abidi, under K-1 rules.
Around this time, Jackson began stating his intentions to capture the PRIDE middleweight (205 lb/93kb) title from Wanderlei Silva. In the opening round of PRIDE's 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix, Jackson won a split decision over Murilo Bustamante. Three months later, Jackson defeated UFC fighter Chuck Liddell in the tournament's semi-finals at PRIDE Final Conflict 2003 by corner stoppage, putting him in place to battle Silva in the tournament finals that night. Jackson fought for the championship against Silva in what was called fight of the year by various MMA media.[attribution needed] After taking Silva down and bloodying him, a stand-up was called by the referee and Jackson was stopped with a series of knees to the head.
Jackson continued his PRIDE career with victories over Ikuhisa Minowa and Ricardo Arona, the latter bout being notable for the fight-ending slam by which Jackson rendered Arona unconscious. The bout also served as an eliminator to determine the top contender for Wanderlei Silva's title.
Prior to his rematch with Silva, the notoriously brash Jackson made headlines with the public announcement of his conversion to born again Christianity.[attribution needed] In the fight itself, Jackson floored Silva in the opening round and later scored a takedown which led to a series of knees and elbows at the end of the round. Jackson scored another takedown in the second round, but Silva escaped to his feet and proceeded to knock out Jackson with knee strikes to the head for the second time.
Jackson's next two bouts were against Silva's Chute Boxe training camp partners. He won a split decision over Murilo "Ninja" Rua, but fell to Rua's younger brother, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, via TKO in the elimination series of PRIDE's 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix, where Rua broke one of Jackson's ribs early and proceeded to win by soccer kicks to Jackson's head
Jackson was berated by his trainers following the loss to "Shogun". Soon after, Jackson was contacted by veteran boxing and MMA trainer Juanito Ibarra, who saw potential in Jackson's natural abilities but viewed his profane reputation as a downfall. After a short conversation, Jackson entrusted Ibarra, a fellow born again Christian, with the managerial and training direction of his career. Jackson then earned wins over Hirotaka Yokoi and Yoon Dong-Sik before leaving the PRIDE organization.
On May 16, 2006, the World Fighting Alliance announced it had signed Jackson to a multi-fight deal. He defeated Matt Lindland in by split decision at WFA: King of the Streets on July 22, 2006. "He is a good fighter," Jackson said. "I trained hard. He is an Olympic silver medalist. So much respect to him. I knew I had to bring it." The match turned out to be a tough one for the Memphis native who got caught in guillotine choke holds twice. "Rampage" managed to get out both times, and slammed Lindland a few times before cutting the bridge of his nose with ground and pound on his way to the win.
On December 11, 2006, Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, announced it had acquired select assets from the World Fighting Alliance, which ceased operations as part of their sales agreement. Jackson's WFA contract was one of the assets acquired.
In an interview on the UFC program Inside the UFC, Jackson said it was finally time for him to enter the organization, and that he had not before because of his friendship with UFC fighter Tito Ortiz. Jackson said that because Ortiz was one of the biggest stars in the UFC, and that both were fighters in the same weight class, he didn't want to interfere.[
Jackson made his UFC debut at UFC 67, where he knocked out Marvin Eastman, avenging an early career loss.
At UFC 71, on May 26, 2007, Jackson faced UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell in a title rematch of their 2003 PRIDE bout. Approximately 90 seconds into the first round, Jackson caught Liddell with a right hook to the jaw that sent him down to the mat, whereupon Jackson pummeled him for a referee stoppage at 1:53 seconds to capture the UFC light heavyweight championship.
Jackson then defeated PRIDE middleweight champion Dan Henderson at UFC 75, on September 8, 2007 in London, England, via unanimous decision to unify the two organizations' titles.
In 2002, when PRIDE Fighting Championships and K-1 were exchanging talent, Jackson was sent to fight kickboxer Cyril Abidi under K-1 rules. The first kickboxing bout between Abidi and Jackson was on July 14, 2002. Many expected Jackson's wild style of striking would not translate into the K-1 ring, thinking he would be outclassed by such a schooled and disciplined striker as Abidi. Instead, Jackson overwhelmed Abidi from the opening bell, and knocked him down less than a minute into the bout. Jackson then scored a hard underhand right to the chin of Abidi, knocking him out only 1:55 into the very first round.
Later in the year, Abidi wanted to prove his loss to the undisciplined Jackson was nothing more than a fluke, and faced him on the New Year's Eve Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye card, again in a K-1 rules bout. Jackson laid a lot of criticism to rest by once again defeating Abidi, this time not by early knockout, but via a clear decision. It would be Jackson's last foray with kickboxing, as he returned to full-time MMA competition after his second win over Abidi.