Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Rampage Jackson was supposed to rematch Shogun Rua in his final UFC fight. But now he says he needs knee surgeries, casting some doubt on that possibility.
Looks like free agency will be delayed for Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. So, too, will his final fight in the UFC.
On Thursday, Jackson tweeted that he would have to have surgery on both of his knees, pushing back the last contracted fight of his UFC tenure. On Tuesday, UFC president Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta both said that Jackson would face Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in his swan song, but there's no telling whether that plan will hold up after being impacted by Jackson's recovery timetable.
Jackson didn't detail the injuries he suffered, but in the weeks since his last bout, he's made reference to injuring one of his knees prior to his UFC 144 loss to Ryan Bader. According to an interview he did with Fighters Only, during hist most recent injury, he sought out medical care, eventually leading to a diagnosis of low testosterone. Jackson said he was prescribed testosterone replacement therapy, something that White confirmed last week.
The 33-year-old once said that he would retire by the age of 35, but in recent weeks has indicated a desire to compete far beyond that age. According to him, it just won't come in the UFC. Citing disrespect as a motivator to part ways, Jackson (32-10) publicly asked for a release.
The UFC has agreed to let him go after he finishes the terms of his contract, which call for one more fight.
The bout with Rua was a match that he has requested for quite some time. The two first fought in April 2005, with Rua winning by first-round TKO. Jackson has always sought revenge for the defeat, but turned down a chance to fight him last February when approached about taking the bout on short notice.
Given Jackson's injuries, surgeries and any physical therapy that might follow, the schedules of the two PRIDE veterans might refuse to be synced up yet again, depriving Jackson of the rematch before he moves on from the UFC.
Next time he competes, he'll be trying to snap the first two-fight losing streak of his career as he sets off into free agency.
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