Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson: A Welcome Addition to EA Sports UFC

3 min

EA Sports UFC

EA Sports has revealed the third of four MMA fighters for the upcoming Legends downloadable content pack for EA Sports UFC. The third MMA legend is none other than former UFC champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. I specifically did not put Quinton Jackson on my earlier wish list because Rampage currently fights for a different MMA promotion and not the UFC. Not to mention, Rampage had some bad blood with the UFC upon his exit from the promotion in early 2013. Nonetheless, I am excited to see Rampage make it into the game. He is a fantastic and welcome addition to the EA Sports UFC roster.

Rampage began his MMA career in 1999. He made a name for himself as one of the top fighters and personalities of the Japanese promotion Pride FC. He developed the persona of “Rampage” and came to be known for his hard-hitting style, jaw-dropping wrestling slams and coming to the ring with a chain around his neck and a mean game face. In 2003, Rampage knocked out UFC favorite Chuck Liddell during the 2003 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix. He failed to win the tournament after getting knocked out by Wanderlei Silva in the final round. In June 2004, Rampage scored what was one of the most amazing knockouts in the sport. Against Ricardo Arona, Arona applied a triangle choke on Rampage. Rampage subsequently lifted Arona into the air and slammed him to the mat in a powerbomb. That easily knocked out Arona and was one of Rampage’s most impressive and deadly displays of strength ever. Unfortunately, Rampage lost his bid for the Pride middleweight title later that year, losing to Wanderlei Silva yet again by knockout at Pride 28.

Rampage’s fortunes changed after he transitioned to the UFC in 2007. At UFC 67, Rampage met his old rival, Chuck Liddell, for the second time. Rampage knocked out Liddell, the fan favorite and dominant champion, and became the UFC light heavyweight champion. Later that year, Rampage faced former Olympic wrestler and the double Pride FC champion Dan Henderson in an incredible contest at UFC 75. In a tough battle, Rampage won the fight by decision.

After his run as champion, Rampage’s MMA career experienced many ups and downs. He lost his belt to Forrest Griffin in 2008. His career entered somewhat of a downward spiral. He was arrested a short time later for reckless driving. He also experienced personal and mental health issues. In later years, Rampage would butt heads with UFC management, opting to “retire” from the sport in 2009 so he could pursue other interests such as acting. He began work on The A-Team live-action movie, which was released in 2010 and was a box office flop, failing to ignite a new franchise along with Rampage’s movie career. Eventually, Rampage returned to the UFC, but it was not smooth sailing. Rampage continued to be at odds with UFC brass, and constantly criticized everything–from being matched up against wrestlers, to his pay, to how he was treated. He parted ways with the UFC on a three-fight losing streak. He was quickly snatched up by rival MMA promotion Bellator MMA. Since that time, Rampage has won his last three fights in Bellator, including winning Bellator season 10 light heavyweight tournament. He opted against fighting the reigning champion, Emanuel Newton, since the two fighters share a wrestling coach.

The inclusion of Rampage in the game was quite surprising. Had Rampage already done work on the game a long time ago and if he was a part of EA Sports UFC’s original roster, I would understand why he is still in the game. It would be because his digital avatar was already locked in. However, Rampage was not a part of the original roster. I figured it was unlikely to anticipate Rampage as part of the roster in a DLC pack, or something similar, because of the way things ended between him and the UFC. Not to mention, he fights for a rival MMA promotion. I assumed, there was a perceived fear of promoting a non-UFC fighter who fights for the UFC’s competition.

Regardless, Rampage is a great addition to the game. Rampage’s career has been marred by some bad personal choices and some lapses in dedication to training and the sport. That said, he has had a pretty epic career. He is a former champion in one of MMA’s most competitive divisions and has been at the top of the business. Rampage is synonymous with MMA and the UFC, so he definitely belongs in the game. The news actually comes a short time after Rampage revealed his criticisms of his current employer in Bellator. I wonder if it means that a future relationship with the UFC, even in a non-fighting capacity, is possible. Still, it is great to see Rampage back in the new UFC video game.

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