King of the Cage: Rampage - Birth of a Champion
BCI Eclipse // Unrated // $14.98 // September 25, 2007
Review by J. Doyle Wallis | posted October 30, 2007
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Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is the current UFC Light Heavyweight champ after knocking out UFC poster boy Chuck Liddell in May of this year, plus successfully defending the title against stalwart Dan Henderson in September.

Now, for those that don't know, those whose concept of mixed martial arts is limited to UFC and probably run around calling it "Ultimate/Cage Fighting," King of the Cage is a long-running fight promotion, a small one, mainly seen as a feeder network for guys to develop their talents and build their records.

All of the fights on this disc are from five (+) years ago, the first three from King of the Cage, the remaining three from Gladiator Challenge. Because the actual program doesn't give you the fights dates, I will.

Quinton versus Sean Gray, 5/17/2002.

" " Marvin Eastman, 6/24/2000.

" " Rob Smith, 11/29/2000.

" " Charlie West, 12/9/2000.

" " Dave Taylor, 2/12/2001.

" " Rocko Henderson, 4/7/2001.

Really, the only fight on this collection worth noting is the brawl with Marvin Eastman, a decision loss he would later avenge and was among Quinton's first documented fights. You'll only find one tko, the rest end via decision and the skill level is extremely unrefined. Most of the matches end up being mauling sessions and you see Quinton getting away with a lot of rookie mistakes like poor sub attempts and bad ground positioning. Really only his natural power and good boxing gets him one over on his opponents. Evidence that he was new and unsure of the MMA game is pretty evident by the fact that he's wearing, what I assume was, his high school wrestling singlet in one of the matches.

Quinton's recent reign is actually a bit of a renaissance. It was in Pride that he really established himself as a fighter (trademarks being his good standup- nice boxing and knees, good chin- powerful slams, good wrestling) and as a personality (his ringwalk howl and chain accessory, his in ring intensity and out of the ring joking). While laying waste to most of the guys he fought, then champ Wanderlei Silva absolutely blasted Quinton on two occasions, making pundits question if he would forever be a #2 ranked gatekeeper. He then had a strange spiritual conversion and fight camp problems that left fans further puzzled. Gone was his in the ring fire and in interviews, where he was once a sharp jokester, he was now dead serious. Thankfully, in the last year or two, he has shown the same charms as a person and an athlete and looks poised to regain his old charms.

The DVD: BCI

Picture: Fullscreen. Most of the matches look like garbage. Video quality simply wasn't a top priority or even in the events budget in the early days. As a long time MMA fan, it was exactly what I expected. In terms of audio/video quality, KOTC didn't really get its act together until a few years ago when they became more aggressive with pay per views, but even today it is considered a low budget production.

Sound: 2.0 Stereo. Again, same as above. The audio is very basic and especially on the last three, you get some subpar miking of the commentators resulting in muffle and distortions.

Extras: Nothin.'

Conclusion: Well, this was an easy one to suggest as a rental only. Worth a look for those interested in a Quinton's early, amateur progression but hardcore fight fans will be left wanting. It is brief, for some reason leaving out several other of Quinton's KOTC and GC fights and the quality is very poor. They skimped on even including any interview footage with the quotable Quinton, definitely one area that could have been a big redeeming factor for this collection.



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