The UFC 144 in Japan counted heavily on former PRIDE star Quinton Jackson‘s name recognition in the Land of the Rising Sun. For his part, Quinton was looking for a return to Japan, where he hadn’t fought in years, to re-invigorate a career that seems to be coming to an end. Well, in getting taken out by a tough, but limited Ryan Bader, Quinton showed the world how far gone he really is from his prime in MMA. Hopefully we have seen the last of Jackson, as a guy like that, who is on the higher end of the pay scale, is simply not worth it with what he brings to the table.
It all started with bad signs from Quinton. First, he failed to make weight by a considerable amount (5 pounds), then he looked flabby and old as he entered the ring. He looked subdued as he walked to the ring howling, and if he was looking for a pop from the crowd, it wasn’t all that noticeable. He looked like something was missing.
After that, right in the first round the announcers start to tell us that Quinton is hurt, that he is not 100 percent. At that point, you could write a script out on how the match would go.
Bader did what he had to do, but he wasn’t as impressive as he should have been, facing down an unmotivated opponent. Granted, Jackson is hard to take out, it took UFC Lightheavyweight Champion Jon Jones into the fourth round to do it, but Bader was able to win by control and frustration, not be any type of overwhelming offense.
It is hard for me to look at Bader’s performance and see him doing well with Machida, Evans, Henderson or some of the other top lightheavyweights. Bader still has something to prove.
Overall, it was a flat co main event of the evening, and the UFC has a bored Jackson to blame. So here is to hoping this was the last time the UFC brings Quinton back. Let him go carry Tim Sylvias’s bags on the circuit of the banished.