Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader said that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson would not pull off one of his famous slams against him at UFC 144. He also stated that he’d defeat Jackson in front of the Japanese fans that adore the former PRIDE star. Well Bader was only half right on his predictions, lucky for him though he got the most important one right.
Despite literally being dropped on his head in the second round, Bader (14-2) dominated his bout with the former UFC light heavyweight champion in route to a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). The slam ended up looking much worse than it actually was as Bader quickly shook off the stars, scrambled back to his feet and would end up getting a takedown himself about a minute later. Bader would add a slam of his own in round two and would spend the last three minutes on top of Rampage, wearing him down.
Rampage was nearly out of gas in the final round and after grinding him against the cage early; Bader took him down and cruised to the decision victory. The win marked the return of the dominate wrestling Bader seemed to have gotten away from after winning a couple fights in the Octagon. The win over a former champion is by far the biggest of Bader’s career and now gives him two in a row, after suffering back to back defeats against Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz.
Jackson (32-10) missed weight for the fight by six pounds and after the loss stated he had injured his knee and was unable to train properly, thus the reason why he came in heavy. Injury aside, Jackson has now lost back to back fights for the fight time in his career and questions of his motivation are coming into question. The part-time actor looked devastated after the fight but assured everyone that he wasn’t going anywhere and would be back.
Now having defeated a top 5(ish) light heavyweight, Bader is in line for another step up in competition for his next trip inside the Octagon.