This feel more perfunctory than anything else but “Rampage” is fulfilling the final fight of his contract with the UFC against an opponent that could potentially give him a lot of fits in Glover Teixiera, a man that hardcore fans of the sport have been waiting to see in the Octagon for years.
Fight Breakdown: Quinton Jackson has gone from being a wrestling based fighter with big power and crazy slams to a boxer who avoids anything resembling the ground game. His boxing is crisp, and he has big time power, but Jackson’s talk has mimicked his game in a lot of ways. All he wants to do is “bang” and “entertain” but has aspirations of winning the light heavyweight title again. It’s an interesting dilemma in that usually guys who fight to “entertain” don’t fight for titles and guys who want titles don’t complain about the types of fighters they are set to face.
Jackson’s game is simple: box, use movement and go for the big shot. His takedown defense is stellar enough to keep it standing against most guys. Jackson avoids using anything involving wrestling and clinch work with a passion that’s admirable in a way; if there was an embodiment of the “Just Bleed” type of fan’s perfect fighting style “Rampage” would be a very refined version of it. He likes to throw, throw and throw some more because his athletic gifts are starting to leave him. What he has left is pure, raw power that he’s harnessed in a really tight boxing game. Jackson doesn’t get enough credit for his footwork and technique, I think, as he has some of the best technical hands in the division. He headhunts, of course, but everything is smooth and crisp. Quinton may not be a high level boxer in the traditional sense but when it comes to MMA he’s in the team picture for best boxing in the sport.
Glover’s game revolves around his stand up, as well, as Teixiera’s is less refined but more violent. The one thing about Teixiera that stands out is that he looks remarkably like his mentor, Chuck Liddell, in terms of how he fights. He’s vicious and looks for the kill, ruthless on the ground as he goes for the kill any way he can. He’s most comfortable standing, of course, but he’s an absolutely vicious fighter. There’s an air of menace with him inside the cage because he’s always ruthless in going for the finish.
The key to this fight is going to be who hits the big shot first. Teixiera might want to try and work the clinch and takedown game against Jackson, of course, but he’s not good enough to get him to the ground. There’ll come a point when he has to stand and trade with Jackson because it’s all he has left. Look for him to emulate what Jon Jones did to Jackson and keep him at a distance, kick out Jackson’s legs to slow him down and look for the big shot. Teixiera doesn’t have the technical striking game Jones does but he makes up for it with raw power.
Why It Matters: This is a strange fight in that normally it’d be a quasi-title eliminator but it’s really a farewell for one and a hello to another. Thus it’s more of a star-making opportunity for the Brazilian and a chance for Jackson to go out with a win on one of the biggest platforms there is.
Jackson is done with the UFC after this fight. Those are his words, too, and he wants to go out on a win. He’d also like to spoil the UFC’s plans of making Glover into a star off his name, as well, on such a big platform as Fox.
For Glover winning, especially in spectacular fashion, makes him into a star ready to challenge Jon Jones. Look at the savagery he’s already inflicted so far and with another highlight reel beatdown, this time of a former UFC champion and certified MMA legend in “Rampage,” Teixiera moves into the proverbial title “mix” with Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson, et al.