Prior to Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 6 event, USA Today/SBNation had Quinton Jackson ranked at number nine, even with two straight losses. Meanwhile, his opponent for that event, Glover Teixeira, was at number eleven. After last Saturday’s event, however, it’s safe to say that these two fighters have traded places, with Jackson being booted out of the top ten and Teixeira officially arriving on the light heavyweight scene.
How the fight ended seemed to have encapsulated a description of a very fitting metaphor. It was as if Teixeira, who mounted Jackson in the closing seconds of their bout, was for all intents and purposes beating “Rampage” right out of the top ten – not to mention the UFC altogether. The UFC, through Teixeira, basically said “see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out”.
Within a minute and a half of the opening round of his bout with Glover, he was taken down and back-mounted. This was certainly not a favorable start to his final fight with the UFC, but it became abundantly clear that these opening minutes would set the tone for how the rest of the bout would unfold. In addition to setting the tone for that fight, it was an indication of where Jackson stood in the scheme of things in the light-heavyweight division. It’s obvious that he is no longer the force he once was and, truth be told, the only reason he was placed as co-main event was to act as sacrificial lamb for budding contender Teixeira.
Since Quinton has preached for some time now that he is no longer happy with the UFC, and the UFC has shown little to no interest in keeping Jackson, one question begs to be asked: What’s next for ’Rampage’?
He certainly has options outside of fighting. After all, he’ll be 35 in a couple of months, so his athletic clock is ticking rather quickly. It’s also been noted that in recent bouts, he’s failed to make weight or has had to lose a significant amount of weight to make the 205 limit. Thus, it’s no secret that Jackson’s motivation to train and fight has taken a back seat to filming movies or ads.
Should he continue to fight, in MMA specifically, there are few promotions in the world that can offer competition like the UFC, and even less who can offer their paydays. He has shown interest in turning to boxing, but as I mentioned before, time is not on his side.
With relevancy in the light-heavyweight division beaten out of his hands for good, leaving the UFC will only ensure smaller paydays. One can hope that Rampage retires, on his own terms, rather than being forced to retire like other fighters. He’s made his name, carved it into the history books and made a nice chunk of money in doing so. It’s now time to ride off into the sunset… with his Reeboks.