Rampage Jackson and Wanderlei Silva turned back time for a brief moment on Saturday night at Bellator 206. The bout ended with Rampage decisively knocking out Silva to even the series match-up at 2-2.
It was clear both fighters had seen their best days behind them but were still able to put on a respectable showing. The fight reeked of much nostalgia. Jackson and Silva fought each other twice in Pride FC and once in UFC. The bouts took place in 2003, 2004, and 2008. The last fight ended with Rampage knocking out Silva with a vicious hook. Silva knocked Jackson in the first two bouts with knees. It was cool to see two old warhorses that have been fighting since the 90s slugging it out. Those old pride fights will always hold a special place in my heart.
I honestly wonder If Rampage could still hang with the young guns of today’s sport. Rampage still has vicious KO power, but doesn’t take training seriously and only boxes his opponents. Rampage came into the into the fight at 255 pounds. Rampage looked straight up fat and didn’t have much of neck left at this point. Maybe I’m just romanticising the whole thing. But I still wonder what Rampage would look like in the cage if he still took the sport seriously. I just think if Rampage had real camp and fought Chael Sonnen, Rampage probably would have mauled him, but instead, he lost to a has been middleweight that was never really that good, to begin with.
There isn’t much to say about Silva other than he looked bloated and threw some good flurries, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to take down Rampage.
This fight was about as good as you could have asked it to be. It’s hard to think that upcoming Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz fight will be half as good as Jackson vs Silva.
Photo by Dave Mandel, USA Today Sports