UFC 144 Fight Card Primer: Rampage Jackson Vs. Ryan Bader

Rampage Jackson and Ryan Bader square off at the UFC 144 pre-fight press conference on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012 in Tokyo. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

At UFC 144 the man known simply as Rampage, Quinton Jackson (32-9; 7-3 UFC) meets Ryan Bader (13-2; 6-2 UFC). This Light Heavyweight bout is the semi-main event on the evening. Rampage is currently ranked as the #5 Light Heavyweight in the world according to the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings; Bader is #16. The UFC 144 PPV card begins this Saturday, February 25 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, and will run for 4 hours on PPV.

On paper this looks like a pretty one-sided affair. Rampage may have slowed a bit in recent years, but he's still one of the most dangerous men in the division, while Bader is just 1 fight removed from a loss to Tito Ortiz. Much of the interest in this fight stems from Rampage returning to Japan where he first made his name as part of Pride. Jackson seems excited about fighting in front of Japanese fans once again. Will this mean the return of "Slampage" and his devastating powerbombs and throws? Any old school Pride fan must certainly be hoping so.

How do these two stack up?

Rampage: 33 years old | 6'1" | 73" reach
Bader: 28 years old | 6'2" | 74" reach

What have these two done recently?

Rampage: L - Jon Jones (Sub) | W - Matt Hamill (UD) | W - Lyoto Machida (SD)
Bader: W - Jason Brilz (KO) | L - Tito Ortiz (Sub) | L - Jon Jones (Sub)

How did these two get here?

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is a former UFC Light Heavyweight champion who has seen a lot of ups and downs in his career recently. After making a big UFC debut back in 2007, he won 3 straight, then lost the belt to Forrest Griffin and subsequently went on a bizarre and dangerous driving, uh, rampage. He came back, had a pair of fights, then announced his retirement from MMA to pursue acting. That didn't pan out, and he's 2-2 since his return. As I said above, he remains a threat to everyone in the division, but there often just feels like a spark missing from Rampage these days. I'm interested to see if the Japanese fan reignite it.

Ryan Bader started his UFC career with a 5 fight win streak that brought his overall record to 12-0. From winning The Ultimate Fighter to defeating Rogerio Nogueira, Bader was clearly a force. A loss to Jon Jones was a minor setback, though clearly there's no shame in losing to Jones. But his UFC 132 submission loss to Tito Ortiz was a real eye-opener. He's defeated Jason Brilz since, but it is going to take a lot for fans to forget the image of Bader being choked out. A win over Rampage would be a huge step in that process.

Why should you care?

There are three ways I see this fight going: 1) Rampage taps into his old violence and steamrolls Bader, 2) Bader pulls off a huge upset and knocks one of the old guard off his perch, 3) Rampage has a tentative victory a la Matt Hamill. Two of those three options would be exciting, so odds are in your favor for a good fight.

More UFC 144 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

SBN coverage of UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson

UFC 144 Judo Chop: The Striking Defense of Mark Hunt - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 144: Rampage Jackson Misses Weight By Five Pounds, Loses 20% Of Purse While Fight Goes On - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 144 Weigh-In Video And Coverage - Tim Burke

UFC 144: Anthony Pettis Vs. Joe Lauzon Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 144: The Bloody Elbow Judo Chops Of Frankie Edgar Vs. Ben Henderson - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 144: Edgar Vs. Henderson Staff Predictions - Tim Burke

UFC 144: Jake Shields Wants UFC To Make Sure Yoshihiro Akiyama Doesn't Cheat - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 144: Yushin Okami Vs. Tim Boetsch Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 144 Video: Dana White Video Blog Episode 2 - Kid Nate

UFC 144: Rampage Jackson On The Streets Of Tokyo - Kid Nate

UFC 144: Dana White Wants You To Know The UFC Didn't Kill PRIDE - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 144: The Epic Drama Of Yoshihiro Akiyama - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 144: Is Frankie Edgar Being Underrated Against Ben Henderson? - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 144: Hatsu Hioki Vs. Bart Palaszewski Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 144 Roundtable: Can The UFC Succeed In Japan? - Tim Burke

UFC 144 Predictions: Pros Slightly Favor Frankie Edgar To Beat Ben Henderson - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 144: Takanori Gomi Vs. Eiji Mitsuoka Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 144 Judo Chop: Benson Henderson And The Miracle of Survival Part 2 of 2 - Ben Thapa

UFC 144 Video: Under PRIDE Rules, Rampage Jackson Dominates Fight Against Ryan Bader - Anton Tabuena

UFC 144 Video: Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson Fight Simulation And Prediction - Anton Tabuena

UFC 144 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video - Tim Burke

UFC 144: Yoshihiro Akiyama Leads The UFC Back To Japan - Kid Nate

UFC 144: Should The Winner Of Joe Lauzon Vs. Anthony Pettis Get The Next Title Shot? - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 144: Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto Vs. Vaughan Lee Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 144: Riki Fukuda Vs. Steve Cantwell Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 144 Judo Chop: Benson Henderson And The Miracle Of Survival Part 1 of 2 - Ben Thapa

UFC 144: Edgar Vs. Henderson Countdown Show Full Video - Anton Tabuena

UFC 144: Edgar Vs. Henderson Betting Lines - Tim Burke

UFC 144: Rampage Jackson Is A Death Sentence For Ryan Bader According To Michael Bisping - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 144 Manga-Style Promo Video - Kid Nate

UFC 144: Takeya Mizugaki Vs. Chris Cariaso Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 144: Tiequan Zhang Vs. Issei Tamura Dissection - Dallas Winston

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