Don’t know how I managed to miss this … probably because I’ve spent most of the weekend in bed 😉 Anyhow it’s official Quinton Jackson has signed with UFC, and debut’s against Marvin Eastman on Feb 3rd. Jackson has spent much of his career competing in the Pride tournaments in Japan. What’s interesting about this move is that Jackson is one of only 3 men to ever have beaten the reigning UFC Light Heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. Liddell has already avenged his other two losses at the hands of Jeremy Horn and the iconic Randy Couture. I have no doubt that Chuck will want to settle old scores, and that the UFC will try to get this fight on for around September.
I haven’t seen Jackson fight in a while, but I remember watching their last encounter, it was an ugly fight, but Jackson TKO’d Liddell and the only other man to have ever TKO Liddell was Couture. As I recall Jackson slammed Liddell to the matt a few times where he ended the fight. Jackson is freakishly strong, an extremely good wrestler and like Liddell a vicious striker. I don’t believe Ortiz had the strength to force Liddell to the ground, but Jackson does, in fact he’s built his career around working opponents in the clinch and slamming them to matt with sort of high impact throws one expects to see in a wrestling ring and not in the Octagon. I’ll never forget watching him reverse a triangle choke by lifting his opponent into the air and throwing him out of the ring.
For those of you have not seen Jackson fight, or don’t follow Pride – I found this highlight reel on YouTube … it’s probably not for the feint hearted! In fact while I was looking for a highlight reel I found the footage of the first fight between Jackson and Liddell, you’ll need to sign into YouTube to watch it, to say it was a one sided contest is understating things.
2007 is going to an interesting year in the world of Mixed Martial Arts.