As a young fighter in PRIDE, former light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson developed a reputation for dishing out damage with an arsenal of brutal slams, none more infamous than his power-bomb finish of Ricardo Arona. However, when it came to his bout against Ryan Bader this past weekend at UFC 144, few believed Jackson could channel the “Rampage” of old and wow the Japanese fans with another highlight reel slam given Bader’s accomplishments as an amateur wrestler.
Midway through the second round Jackson proved his critics wrong, scooping Bader up against the fence and slamming him down face-first to the mat. While Bader never lost consciousness the impact clearly injured him, something he openly admitted to in an interview with the UFC shortly after making his way backstage.
“I knew he was waiting for something because he was a little too relaxed right there with his head. He was just waiting for me to knee the head and he caught my leg,” explained Bader of the sequence resulting in Jackson’s biggest offense of the entire fight. “He’s a strong dude so he picked me up and slammed me right on my head, and I was out of it, honestly, for a little bit. But I recovered and that’s what it’s about, just staying in there and battling, and that’s what happened.”
While the 14-2 Bader has notched some notable victories since showing up in the UFC three years ago the 28-year old has no illusions when it comes to which of the lot is the most significant in his career.
“This is my favorite win of all time,” said Bader of his performance. “Coming in and winning the Ultimate Fighter, it’s not really in the UFC. You start over right when you get in the UFC. That’s what I learned, real quick. I had a couple of losses last year. Starting this year off right so getting a win over “Rampage”…he just fought for the title, Top 5 in the division…so I couldn’t have asked for more.”
No word has surfaced on what might be next for Bader though, if he has his way, it will involve a little time off rather than an immediate match-up.
Watch the full interview below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC