MONTREAL – Fabio Maldonado may have been a perfect welcome back opponent for Quinton Jackson, but he was anything but an easy fight. Jackson won a unanimous decision over Maldonado at UFC 186 at the Bell Centre Saturday night in his first fight back with the UFC, but he didn't do everything he set out to do.
Namely, he didn't finish the Brazilian. And in the post-fight press conference, Jackson didn't want to make excuses for why.
"The last time I fought was last May [for Bellator], close to my hometown, I have no excuses," he said. "I wasn't rusty or nothing. This is the hardest I've ever trained in my whole 15-year career. I started back training with Bobby Rimmer. He's like one of the best boxing coaches I've ever seen and that I've trained with. And he pushed me to the limits. He pushed me to points that I didn't even think that I could perform. I got no excuses."
The 36-year old former UFC light heavyweight champion still hit Maldonado with plenty of violent shots throughout the fight, but Brazilian wouldn't go down. Jackson offered some analysis on it afterwards.
"I just think that Fabio is not human," he said. "I hit that guy with everything, and he was asking for some more. I was like, damn. I even tried to kick him in the head. I didn't even think he'd see that coming. I didn't know what to do. I was thinking about blowing my bad breath on him...but I didn't think that would work either. So I just kept trying."
With the victory, Jackson (36-11) has now won four fights in a row, beginning with a knockout of Joey Beltran at Bellator 109 in 2013. It was Jackson's first victory in the UFC since Matt Hamill at UFC 130 in May 2011.