Rampage Leaving UFC After Shogun Fight

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will have the thought of vengeance to motivate him for his swansong in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

According to Sergio Non of USA TODAY, Jackson’s final bout before leaving the company will come against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, the promotion announced Tuesday on Fuel TV‘s UFC Tonight program, confirming an earlier report by Yahoo Sports. It will be a rematch of their April 2005 encounter for Pride Fighting Championships in a tournament won by Rua.

Despite the announcements on Fuel and Yahoo, both of whom cited UFC co-owners, Jackson himself sounded optimistic but still slightly uncertain. He posted on Twitter shortly after the UFC Tonight’s report.

Unhappy with UFC for what he perceives as a lack of gratitude and frustrating choices of opponents, Jackson hoped to get an early release from his contract with the organization. But UFC parent Zuffa will hold Jackson to the last fight on the deal, CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told Yahoo.

In selecting Rua, UFC indulges Jackson’s desire for a stand-up fight. Four of Jackson’s last five opponents have been wrestling-based fighters; three of them beat him.

So did Rua, who battered Jackson’s torso with Muay Thai knee strikes and kicks until he stopped resisting, prompting a referee stoppage of their bout almost seven years ago. It was Jackson’s last defeat in Pride.

After that bout, Jackson refashioned himself as a boxer reliant on powerful hooks, a significant shift from his previous penchant for ground-and-pound strikes and occasional slams.

Rua and Jackson lost their most recent bouts, but remain Nos. 4 and 5 in the USA TODAY/SB Nation consensus rankings for light heavyweights. Both fighters are former champions of UFC’s 205-pound division.

Jackson was on the losing end of a decision won by Ryan Bader last month in Saitama, Japan. Jackson went into the fight with an injured knee that kept him from making weight and slowed him during the fight.

By his own admission, Jackson underwent testosterone replacement therapy after he hurt his knee. The hormone treatment has been so helpful that Jackson believes it will extend a fighting career that he intends to continue after leaving UFC.

“Now with the TRT I got 10 more years,” he posted Tuesday on Twitter.

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