In a battle between two of the best fighters in the world (ten years ago), the fourth installment of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva could be mildly entertaining, hilariously bad or just simply bad. Nevertheless, if you’re inclined to bet on a cage fight where the combined age of both parties is 82, I won’t discourage you.
The “Fatpage” Era
As you’ve probably noticed, Jackson’s physique has changed considerably in recent years. Since moving up to heavyweight, I speculate Jackson has become more lenient with the kinds of foods he’s consuming. It’s amazing to think Jackson comes from a wrestling base, because it’s been a long time since we’ve seen “Slampage”. These days, he employs a stalking style and looks to land a homerun with every punch. At 40-years-of-age, Jackson wouldn’t be the first fighter in the later stages of his career to neglect wrestling – presumably because offensive takedowns are so energy draining.
Theoretically, Jackson’s size advantage should help him if he chooses to wrestle, but will he? Personally, I don’t think his cardio will support a grappling game plan. He’s likely going to go head hunting instead.
How Shot is Wanderlei?
Fighters with an explosive, brawling style don’t age well – and I don’t think Wanderlei Silva will be an exception. With only one fight since 2013 to base an opinion on, Silva looked a bit long in tooth against Chael Sonnen last year – but his striking was still serviceable. If Silva was able to keep the fight upright, I have no doubt he would have knocked his opponent out. I don’t think he’ll need to defend takedowns in this bout.
A fighter renowned for planting his feet and trading hooks, Silva has never been a technical striker – but that hasn’t stopped him from racking up countless KO victories throughout his career. The 2004 clinch knockout of Quinton Jackson was particularly spectacular.
At 42-years-of-age I don’t think we’re going to see a change in approach. Silva will march forward and look to detach Jackson from his consciousness. His chin might be completely gone, but I don’t think his power is.
Considering how many times Silva has been knocked out, Jackson almost certainly has the better chin – but either fighter can put the other to sleep with a flush power punch. If we don’t see an early KO, this fight could get ugly because I don’t trust the cardio of either fighter. Ultimately, I have no idea what’s going to happen but I can’t fathom playing Quinton Jackson at -270. This feels like an obvious dog or pass situation.
Pick: Wanderlei Silva +230
Check out my UFC 229 betting predictions.