Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - Rampage is back. After a tumultuous 2008 that saw Quinton Jackson lose his light heavyweight title, change his managerial and training teams, and deal with out of the Octagon issues, he finished off the year by knocking out his old nemesis Wanderlei Silva in the first round of their UFC 92 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
By Thomas Gerbasi
LAS VEGAS, December 27 –Rampage is back. After a tumultuous 2008 that saw Quinton Jackson lose his light heavyweight title, change his managerial and training teams, and deal with out of the Octagon issues, he finished off the year by knocking out his old nemesis Wanderlei Silva in the first round of their UFC 92 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
It was Jackson’s first win in three tries against Silva, who defeated the Memphis native in PRIDE bouts in 2003 and 2004.
“The last time I fought here (in Las Vegas), it wasn’t right,” said an ecstatic Jackson, referring to his close decision loss in July to Forrest Griffin. “I went to the Wolfslair in the UK, got my wolf on and Rampage is back baby.”
Opting to fight without the customary touch of gloves, these fierce rivals engaged almost immediately, with Jackson stalking and Silva looking to counter. A minute in, the crowd started chanting for Silva, followed shortly after by a chant for Rampage, and both men circled, neither wanting to make a fight-ending mistake. That mistake would come with under two minutes left though, as Silva came in wide with a left hook and ate one in return, sending the Brazilian down to the canvas. A follow-up from Jackson was mere window dressing as referee Yves Lavigne intervened at the 3:21 mark.
With the win, Jackson improves to 29-7; Silva falls to 32-9-1 with 1 NC.
Middleweight hopeful CB Dollaway made it 2-0 against Mike Massenzio as he halted his former college wrestling opponent in the first round.
Dollaway (9-2) was effective early with knees to the midsection, but Massenzio (11-3) answered back with strikes of his own that rocked Dollaway and brought the fight to the mat. After some dicey moments in a Massenzio guillotine choke, Dollaway escaped and tried to work his ground and pound as his opponent kept looking for submissions. With 2:20 left, Dollaway got the mount position, and though Massenzio rolled over in an attempt to escape, The Ultimate Fighter alum kept Massenzio on his stomach, and after a series of unanswered blows, referee Lavigne jumped in and stopped the fight at 3:01 of the round.
Dollaway defeated Massenzio in the junior college wrestling nationals in 2003.
Heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo moved a step further up the ranks, progressively picking up speed before emphatically stopping Octagon newcomer Mostapha Al Turk in the first round.
Kongo rocked Al Turk with the first right hand he threw, prompting the Londoner to look for the takedown. While locked up against the cage, Kongo fired off some strikes, but just when it seemed that he was about to break loose, a low knee by Al Turk forced a halt to the action. After a brief break, an angered Kongo looked for the opening for a finisher, but Al Turk tied him up against the fence. There, Kongo got in a low knee of his own, forcing another stoppage while Al Turk recovered. After a stern warning to both men from referee Steve Mazzagatti, the two resumed hostilities, and this time, a series of legal blows dropped Al Turk. A ferocious follow-up by the Frenchman left Al Turk bloodied and brought in Mazzagatti to stop the bout at 4:37 of the opening round.
With the win, Kongo improves to 23-4-1; Al Turk falls to 6-4.