UFC 144 Results Recap: Rampage Jackson Vs. Ryan Bader

Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

In the co-main event of UFC 144, Ultimate Fighter 9 winner Ryan Bader soundly defeated former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson by unanimous decision. All three judges had it 30-27 for Bader. Rampage missed weight before the bout due to an injury and it was quite obvious in the cage, where he was slow and a bit timid.

Bader was more active with his striking over the course of the fight, and once Rampage gassed out he was able to take him to the ground and keep him there for large stretches. Other than one highlight slam in the second round, Rampage never really got anything going. There had been plenty of talk about Jackson retiring after the bout, but it didn't happen and he says he's committed to continuing his career.

What was the high spot of this fight?

Rampage's slam on Bader. Bader landed awkwardly on his right arm and it's amazing that he didn't suffer any major damage from it. Both entrances were awesome too, with Bader using a remixed Star Wars theme and Rampage using the Pride theme.

Where do these guys go from here?

Bader has now won two bouts in a row after consecutive losses to Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz. This is, by far, the biggest win of his career and will allow him to re-enter the top 10. A bout against the winner of the Alexander Gustafsson vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira match up UFC on Fuel would be an excellent next fight for him.

Rampage says he wants to press forward with his career, so you know he's going to continue to get showcased fights. He has lost two in a row and could get a lower-level opponent next, but that's unlikely. The best options for him (if his knee heals quickly) are rematches against Dan Henderson or Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Shogun is the more likely of the two.

Watch it now, later or never?

Later. Rampage just didn't look like himself other than the slam, and Bader was more workmanlike than exciting.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 144 in the full entry.

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