To watch full Rampage Jackson vs. Fabio Maldonado fight video highlights click here.
Following a court overturning an injunction that banned him from competing, Quinton Jackson returned to Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) Octagon tonight (Sat., April 25, 2015) to battle Fabio Maldonado at UFC 186 from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Even on short notice, it turned out to be a great night for "Rampage."
The former light heavyweight champ stormed out with a jab, but Maldonado was unphased. After a leg kick from Jackson, Maldonado asked for more and "Rampage" poured it on momentarily. After clinching on the fence, both men broke free and "Rampage" landed a nice uppercut and knee. Maldonado was looking to work the body, but was not putting much behind his strikes, while "Rampage" was looking for the knockout.
A big uppercut mid-way through the round from Jackson was followed up by a solid combination from Maldonado. "Rampage " began to tee off on Maldonado on the fence with a vicious five-punch combination and a knee, but the Brazilian fired back with hooks of his own. After Marc Goddard warned both men to "work" in the clinch, Maldonado reversed "Rampage."
Jackson looked great tonight utilizing a full muay-thai arsenal, but Maldonado was not about to give up after eating a few haymakers.
Round two was kicked off with another jab, and at this point Maldonado was bleeding from a cut on his head. "Rampage" stumbled back from an eye poke, but the ref didn't pause the fight, and the former champ made the Brazilian pay with an uppercut. Maldonado clinched Jackson on the fence, but "Rampage" landed a handful of knees. After breaking apart momentarily, they clinched again on the fence.
When "Rampage" landed a combination, Maldonado would ask for more from the former UFC champ. Jackson was happy to oblige with vicious shots to the body. In the center of the cage, the fight was all "Rampage," but when Maldonado got it to the fence, he was the one earning points.
Late in the round, Jackson really turned up the pressure on the feet, all while Maldonado smiled like a mad man. Moments later the Brazilian answered back with a last second takedown, stunning the crowd in Montreal.
The final round was contested mostly in the center of the Octagon, with Quinton once again showing off his crisp combinations and head movement. "Rampage" eventually knocked Maldonado's mouthpiece out, causing a momentary pause in the action.
The former 205-pound champ was really putting everything together beautifully, lighting Maldonado up with combinations and avoiding counters. "Rampage" was definitely looking for the knockout, but the Brazilian's chin is legendary for a reason.
"Rampage" earned the unanimous decision victory with the 29-28, 30-27, and 30-27 scores.
In the end, it was truly one of "Rampage's" best performances, and now he can look into finishing his MMA career with one last great run inside UFC's Octagon.
For complete results from UFC 186: "Johnson vs. Horiguchi," including play-by-play updates, click here.