Originally Posted by Robert Rousseau, ExtremeProSports.com
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Chuck Liddell
Quinton Jackson is the last man to defeat Liddell. Back on 11/9/03 he ended Liddell's hopes to win the Pride - Final Conflict 2003 crown in round two via TKO. Further, in that fight Jackson did something that most thought impossible.
Basically, he beat Liddell in the stand up game. At one point Liddell seemed to tire under Rampage's onslaught and was even taken down.
Another thing that doesn't happen very often.
Still, a lot of time has elapsed since that fight. Along with this, neither fighter is the same. However, Liddell has repeatedly indicated his yearning to step in with Jackson for a rematch. This leads to the following obvious question.
How might a fight between Chuck Liddell and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson look in the Octagon right now?
Breaking down the fighters - Chuck Liddell versus Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is a former Pride fighter that sports an overall MMA record of 25-6 with 11 (T)KO's and seven submission victories. However, don't let the submissions fool you. That's not Rampage's bread and butter as most of them occurred either early in his career or were due to strikes.
In short, there is not a stronger fighter in the 205 pound class than Jackson. When on his game, he likes to pick people up over his head, slam them into the mat, and pound on them unmercifully. Along with this, he has very good takedown, takedown defense, and ground control skills.
If that doesn't work, then he'll resort to a very strong stand up game. In fact, back in 2003 his stand up game was one that utilized powerful straight punches, including jabs, to beat Chuck Liddell.
Beyond this, Rampage has good submission defense. Though at times he has shown the inability to steer clear of the triangle choke, this has not been a problem for him during his career. Why? Simply because he has shown the ability to literally pick fighters up who have caught him in a triangle and slam his way out of it.
See his fight against Ricardo Arona for a demonstration of this ( the slam actually knocked Arona out ).
In terms of actual submission skills, Rampage doesn't appear to have much.
Chuck Liddell currently possesses a 19-3 overall MMA record with 12 (T)KO's and one submission victory. Along with this, he has the best overall stand up punching power in the division ( punching power being different than pure strength, something Rampage possesses loads of ). Along with this, he has good technical stand up and the best takedown defense in the division.
Liddell's guard is serviceable, but submissions aren't his game. Along with this, he probably has good takedowns due to his wrestling background, but one can't be sure. After all, Liddell doesn't try to take people down.
He knocks them out.
What to watch for if / when this fight takes place.
Rampage utilized powerful straight punches in breaking down Liddell in their earlier encounter. However, that all happened during a difficult stretch in Liddell's career where he was defeated by both Randy "The Natural" Couture and then Jackson in the same 12 month period. Along with this, Liddell has looked great since.
In other words, Rampage actually looked like the better technical striker for much of their first encounter. Was it a bad day for Liddell or is that the reality?
With both fighters possessing the kind of power that can transform mistakes into grave mistakes that would seem to be the most important question if this fight were to take place. Not who hits harder, but who is going to get hit more?
In addition, it's hard to fathom Liddell getting taken down again by Rampage ( at least not if he isn't hurt ). Despite the former WFA fighter's astounding power, it would seem that his ability to do that in their initial PRIDE match was more a result of Liddell's fatigue and difficulties in the stand up game than anything else.
Besides, Couture was able to take Liddell down on multiple occasions in and around the time of their first fight. Not the next two times they met, though.
The only questions about Chuck's abilities have resulted from a relatively poor performance back in his only PRIDE tournament appearance ( he was losing to Alistair Overeem on his feet before the knockout and then lost to Jackson ).
For Chuck Liddell to beat Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, that would serve to silence any critics left.
However for Quinton Jackson to defeat Chuck Liddell again, it would prove to all the critics that Quinton Jacksons win in 2003 was not a fluke and that he is in fact the better fighter.