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The quadrilogy fight that MMA fans had no idea they wanted is finally here! Rampage Jackson and Wanderlei Silva will face off for the fourth time overall and the first time since 2008. These two first wen at it in 2003 in Pride FC. Silva took both fights with Pride but Rampage was most recently victorious in their 2008 bout at UFC 92. All three of these fights ended in knockouts within 10 minutes of the opening bell. Ten years later with, we will see if there is more carnage to be had.
Rampage searches for a return to Bellator dominance
During his time in the UFC, Rampage Jackson (37-13) won and defended the light heavyweight title and competed for it one more time. Age seemed to catch up with the fighter but after leaving the UFC following three straight losses in 2013, Jackson looked like a new man in a new organization. He won his first five fights in Bellator including two first round knockouts. Since then, he has lost consecutive fights to King Mo and Chael Sonnen, both by decision.
Those decisions are perhaps the most worry part of Jackson’s recent track record. You don’t earn a name like “Rampage” by grinding out wins on the scorecards. With 16 knockouts in his MMA career, Jackson was known to possess one of the most powerful punches in the sport. After five straight decisions and 50 fights on his record at 40 years old, we have to wonder if the power that makes Rampage who he is still there.
One obvious advantage that Jackson has is his size. He came into his fight with Chael Sonnen around 260 lbs. Silva, who spent most of his time fighting at middleweight will have to deal with the pressure of a man who has already knocked him out when he was 50 lbs. lighter. Rampage will look to keep the pressure on Silva from start to finish and use his size advantage to dictate the pace of this fight. He could use that to grind out a decision based on forward pressure or find a home for a knockout shot when Silva starts to fatigue and make mistakes.
Silva looks to end a rivalry
Wanderlei Silva (35-13-1, 1 NC) looked like an unstoppable force during his time in Pride FC where he compiled a total record of 22-4-1 with a no contest. All of those fights also happened over 10 years ago. Unfortunately, one of Pride’s greatest fighters has not been the same in North America. He is just 5-8 in fights contested in the UFC and Bellator. If Silva wants to seal this series against Rampage, he will need to find a way to produce results outside of Japan.
This will be Wanderlei Silva’s second fight in Bellator. Like Rampage, he lost his first fight to Chael Sonnen by unanimous decision. Silva connected to drop Sonnen, proving his punching power is still there but like Jackson, he was out-wrestled and dominated on the ground. Silva however, holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If Jackson starts to get the advantage on the feet, Silva try taking it to the ground where he will certainly have an edge.
Chances are, both of these men will look to stand and strike. We have seen it three times already and many bombs were thrown. Even though he lost that fight against Chael Sonnen, we saw that the Brazilian still has some scary punching power. One blow to the chin of Rampage could put the big man on the mat once more.
We have seen this fight three times already so we have a decent idea of what we are going to get. Unless they opt for a tactical matchup in their older age, we will see two large men swing at each other until one of them falls down. Silva has the ground advantage but with how large Rampage is, it will not be easy for him to get the fight to the mat.
Rampage Jackson will come in with a gigantic weight advantage so if he can push Silva to the fence, he will have a tired opponent on his hands. As long as he fights a tactical fight, Jackson should be able to get the edge. He has proven himself as more than a power puncher during his time in North America. We have not seen Silva dominate since the Pride days and simply has not held up in the last 10 years.
Pick: Rampage Jackson -250
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