Quinton Jackson may have been a big name in his UFC run, but he was a much bigger superstar during his run under Pride FC in Japan. It is the same organization where he put on the most memorable knockout finish of his career.
It all happened 13 years ago on June 20th 2004, at Pride Critical Countdown in Saitama. “Rampage”, who had just come off a broken hand injury, was facing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist Ricardo Arona.
In a 2013 interview with Sherdog, Rampage admitted that he was being beaten up during the opening minutes of the fight, when Arona was hurting him with leg kicks. When the fight went to the ground and Arona slapped in a triangle choke, Rampage claims it he lost his temper, which resulted to the slam.
“I just don’t think it’s fair if I lose my temper because honestly, I probably could have killed Arona if his head would have landed wrong, or I could have broke his neck, and that would have been on my conscience for the rest of my life,” Jackson said. “Thank God it only knocked him out and he was OK. That was the only time I ever lost my temper. I just hope I never lose my temper in a fight again.”
Arona did protest after the fight, stating he received a headbutt after the slam, which resulted in a knockout. A slow motion footage of it also surfaced, but it was nonetheless ignored by officials, and Rampage’s victory still stands.
Rampage, now 39 years of age, continues to compete under the Bellator banner. The 39-year-old Arona, on the other hand, last fought in 2009, and has turned down Bellator’s offer in 2014, citing he wants to be physically fit before getting back into competition.