December 27, 2008
He was right. Quinton Jackson is a different fighter than when he got destroyed by Wanderlei Silva in their two Pride bouts. His boxing has improved immensely. Will anyone thank his former trainer Juanito Ibarra? That's a story yet to be told.
Regardless of who gets the credit, Jackson fought at a measured pace and let Silva stalk him for the first two minutes of the first round. Silva tried a three-punch flurry and Jackson countered with a thundering left hook that nailed Silva on the chin. "The Axe Murderer" was out before he hit the floor. When he did, his arms went straight back like he was making a snow angel.
Jackson jumped on top to finish the fight with three more punches. Referee Yves Lavigne wrestled him away from Silva, who remained on the mat with legs quivering for a few minutes after the fight.
"Woo," said Jackson, doing his best Ric Flair. "It's real sweet. I came to England to go to the Wolfslair. I got my wolf on now. Rampage is back baby! I ain't going nowhere."
"It's up to the UFC. I'm getting myself back to normal. I need to get my mind right."
Jackson is only six months removed from a driving rampage and mental episode in Southern California. This huge win should do much to heal some of the wounds. Silva, 32, is now 1-2 in the UFC. He has lost 4-of-5 fights overall, with brutal knockout losses to Dan Henderson, Cro Cop and Jackson.
On a side note, Chuck Liddell was caught on camera just after the knockout. He didn't look too pleased. Liddell, 39, beat Silva at UFC 79 but has suffered knockout losses to both Jackson and Evans. After this night, he's nowhere near the light heavyweight title picture.
Photo via Las Vegas Sun
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