Instead of dwelling on the past, which is understandable because it's filled with and just his second career submission loss at ' feet in his faceUFC 135 last night (Sept. 24), Quinton Jackson is looking ahead to the future.
And to his eyes, a return to "The Land of the Rising Sun" looks like heaven. Here's his request to UFC management in his post-fight interview last night:
"I want to go to Japan in February and fight Shogun. That's what I want, rematch with Shogun in Japan. Put it together, Dana."
The UFC is scheduled to return to Japan for an event at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Feb. 26, 2012. It seems a natural fit for "Rampage," who spent five years of his career fighting in the country under the now defunct Pride banner.
All he has to do is get UFC President Dana White on board. To that end, the bossman brought good news at the UFC 135 post-fight press conference.
"He and I just talked about that when he was back there getting stitched up. (Shogun) is fighting Dan Henderson in San Jose, so we'll see what happens there but what Rampage said to me is, 'I want to fight on that Japan (card).' I said, 'Cool. I'm never going to argue with you when you tell me you want to fight.' We can do it. I'm glad to hear him saying that."
Certainly sounds like all systems clear for Jackson's next fight.
That doesn't mean he'll get both his wishes, though, as it's entirely possible Mauricio Rua will be unavailable. Indeed, "Shogun" is scheduled to sling leather with Dan Henderson at UFC 139 on Nov. 19 in San Jose, California.
A victory would mean another shot at the light heavyweight championship he lost earlier this year.
Even a loss wouldn't guarantee a rematch with "Rampage," as he would have just three months time off in between fights. Unless your name is Josh Koscheck or Donald Cerrone, that's simply not enough time off.
This is not the case for Jackson, who has a full five months to prepare for a return to Japan for the first time since a unanimous decision win over Yoon Dong-Sik at Pride 31. That event, ironically enough, was held on Feb. 26, 2006; exactly six years before the UFC invades the Saitama Super Arena.