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UFC Rampage Greatest Hits
Few, if any, mixed martial arts fighters have achieved the mass market success of Quenton "Rampage" Jackson, who recently took Mr. T's place in the movie remake of the A-Team. Outside of being a phenomenal fighter, Rampage is both the most menacing looking fighter and one of the biggest personalities in all MMA. From the early 2000's until the present day, Rampage has fought the best that his weight class has to offer and has mauled some of the top names in the sport including Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, and Wanderlei Silva.
UFC: Rampage Greatest Hits is a collection of ten fights that span most of Quenton Jackson's career. No footage is shown from his pre-PRIDE matchups. The first five fights are from his days as a PRIDE fighter in Japan. The set begins in late 2001 with Rampage Jackson fighting Yuki Ishikawa in his second fight with PRIDE. Jackson, only 23 at the time, was just a month removed from an eye-opening display in loss to Kazushi Sakuraba--he wore himself out after repeatedly power bombing Sakuraba and was eventually chocked out. Against Ishikawa, Jackson immediately went for a slam that was quickly becoming his trademark move in Japan. He nailed the slam and later caught Ishikawa with devastating left, knocking him out in the first round.
The next few fights show Rampage Jackson dominating the competition in PRIDE in fights against Igor Vovchanchyn, Kevin Randleman and the UFC's Chuck Liddell in a tournament. Hearing Dana White as the third commentator on the first Jackson vs. Liddell fight was highly entertaining and, alone, makes this DVD set worth watching. At the time, PRIDE and UFC were bitter rivals. Dana White brought Chuck Liddell in as the UFC's representative in the PRIDE tournament. It was fascinating to hear White cringe and complain about Liddell ignoring their fight strategy while getting beat down by Rampage. It is even more interesting that the exact same strategy that White alludes to would be used by Forrest Griffin to shock the world and take the title from Rampage Jackson nearly five later. This Dana White guy knows a little something about fighting.
While sporting a winning record in PRIDE, Rampage Jackson was never able to win a title. He had a shot against Wanderlei Silva, but lost to him twice while in PRIDE. Quenton Jackson made his UFC debut in 2007 after a quick stint in the World Fighting Alliance (WFA), which the UFC bought out. His first match was a revenge match against Marvin Eastman who defeated Jackson back in 2000. Rampage knocked out Eastman in the second round with a series of uppercuts. This victory set up a rematch against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell, who was seeking a little revenge of his own. This was the match that skyrocketed Jackson's popularity in the United States. Not only did he win his first title, but he knocked out the UFC's most popular and most feared striker--knocked him out cold. Liddell argued with the stoppage, but the replays show him going completely limp after Rampage knocked him down with a strike and then began to ground and pound.
His next two fights in the set are a title defense against Dan Henderson and third rematch against a worn down Wanderlei Silva. The set shows some clips Forrest Griffin's huge upset victory over Jackson by chopping down Rampage with leg kicks. The final match on the set is a great match against Keith Jardine in 2009. In the final minute of the third round, Jackson picks Jardine apart with superior striking skills and knocks him down with three seconds left on the clock to secure a unanimous decision victory.
The fights are selected well with no glaring omissions. Obviously, this being a Greatest Hits collection, none of Quenton Jackson's losses are included in this set. Any losses or less interesting fights are noted in the transitions between fights, sometimes with some photo stills or quick clips from the fight. I understand not showing his losses in their entirety, but the producers could have included more footage from them. Rampage still had some amazing strikes and slams in his losses.
There is minimal narration or documentary on this collection of Rampage's Greatest Hits. The DVD begins with a quick introduction about Quenton Jackson, noting his huge impact on the sport of mixed martial arts and setting the stage for the first fight. Between each fight is a quick video segment that transitions to the next fight. There are no interviews with Jackson, his coaches, training partners, or even his opponents. Rampage is an entertaining personality and one of the funniest interviews in the UFC; to not have him provide any interviews or commentary for this DVD is bad form. It would have been much more interesting and entertaining with new Rampage interviews and clips offering some retrospective thoughts before and after each fight. Perhaps even have his opponents talk about what it was like fight Rampage and be on the receiving end of his punches and slams. I'm sure his good friend Dan Henderson would have given some great quotes. Instead we are treated to a boilerplate bit of narration that does just enough to connect the last fight to the next one. It's not that the narration is awful--it's fine--the UFC just cold have taken that extra step to make this DVD set special. Quenton "Rampage" Jackson is one of the UFC's biggest stars; it's disappointing to see him get a by-the-numbers Greatest Hits collection.
Audio: The sound throughout the entire disc is presented in 2.0 stereo. There is not much in the way of directionality or audio effects here. These are fights as they originally appeared on pay-per-view. Most of the audio is commentary and crowd noise. The sound quality of the commentary is variable from fight to fight, but clear and acceptable as a whole. There is a distinct jump in the quality of fight commentary from PRIDE to UFC. Joe Rogan is, hands down, much more engaging behind the mic than Bas Rutten and it makes the UFC fights appear more interesting and urgent as a result.
Video: The video is quality on this set is highly variable and depends on the source material. Some of the earlier fights were recorded in 4:3 full screen and show their age a little more compared to the UFC footage. The video appears slightly washed out and shows some pixelization. The more recent UFC fights were originally aired in high definition. They are presented in 16:9 widescreen and look great. There is still some compression artifacts present, but it never distracts from the action of the fight. Overall, the video quality is a little above average for a modern DVD.
Extras: The only extras are some promos for other UFC DVD's.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this is a good compilation of Rampage's best victories. Most of his big wins from PRIDE and UFC are included--all five of his UFC victories are here. Rampage is a gifted striker with heavy hands and, at least earlier in his career, incredible slams. He's one of my personal favorite mixed martial artists. Seeing him lose to Rashad Evans recently was kind of sad--watching a favorite fighter past his prime, slowing down and beginning to show his age always is. This DVD serves as a reminder of how great Rampage once was, and possibly could be if he dropped his acting career and gave fighting his complete attention for one more run. This DVD set is a worthy addition to the collections of Rampage Jackson fans. More documentary footage could have been included to appeal to more casual UFC fans and non-fans to highlight his personality, but watching Jackson KO the likes of Chuck Liddell, twice, just never gets old. Recommended.