If you aren’t familiar with the general consensus at CagePotato.com that when a fighter whose career has been sagging claims to be bringing back an incarnation of his or her former self, it’s usually bullshit and nine times out of 10 said fighter loses in dramatic fashion in their next fight.
Hopefully for Quinton Jackson’s sake there’s a loophole in the rule that says when a fighter’s trainer makes the comment, it doesn’t have the same repercussions or else he’s going to be in for a long (or short) night on Saturday night at UFC 123 against Lyoto Machida.
In an interview with MMA Fighting’s Mike Chiappetta Jackson’s new coach Lance Gibson says he is bringing back the old Rampage, only a new and improved version — so we’re not quite sure which one it is: the old one or the new improved one.
"I’m bringing back the old Rampage, but new and improved plus more," Gibson said. "The guy with takedowns, slams, punches, kicks. The man’s got vicious kicks and elbows, and nobody’s seen it yet because he had a manager and trainer who was just a boxer, and he got him in that state of mind. But now he’s ready to go."
"How did he do it?" you might ask. The answer is simple according to Gibson: he made training fun.
"The difference between last camp and this one is apples and oranges," Gibson told MMA Fighting. "His mentality, everything is superb. He’s having more fun, you notice he’s smiling more. He’s enjoying himself. He trained really hard for this fight and he’s excited to show it."
Translation: "We didn’t work him too hard and we didn’t push him during conditioning training, which he always says he has hated so don’t expect his cardio to be great for the fight."
Jackson says he chose to stick around California to train with Gibson and a handful of "secret training partners" (meaning nobody we would know) for the camp to be with his family rather than travel to the UK to again train at Wolfslair with guys like Michael Bisping and Cheick Kongo.
"Lance is an excellent coach and I really like the training camp we had the first fight, but it’s like I never got the chance to showcase the things that he taught me because the first camp with him was so hard [because I was out of shape from being a lazy actor]," Rampage explains. "The fight made it hard to do the stuff I was taught. Hopefully this fight I can showcase the things I was taught."
If you can’t remember where you may have heard the name Lance Gibson before, he fought at UFC 24, defeating Jermaine Andre by KO and was knocked out by Evan Tanner at UFC 29.
On his website homepage, The Port Moody, BC, Canada resident claims that he was the number one Shooto fighter in the world in 2002, despite only fighting once that year and losing and also that he was the UFC 124 middleweight fight champion, so we’re taking what he says with a grain of salt.
It sounds like he was able to smooth talk Jackson into believing that he is a reputable striking coach even after he cornered him for the first time in decision loss against Rashad Evans — a bout that saw the former light heavyweight champion throw only 27 strikes to his opponent’s 61 (he threw 80 in his previous fight when he beat Keith Jardine).
If things don’t work out for Rampage in the fight, he’ll probably change things up for the next one and head back to Wolfslair where he is still listed as a member of the British MMA academy’s pro team.
Although only one fighter with a decidely different style than his charge has beaten Machida, the Canadian trainer who was nicknamed "Fearless" early on in his fight career is confident he has figured out how to beat the enigmatic karate stylist.
"Pretty much you’ve got to be the predator and make him the prey," Gibson said. "I’ve watched Lyoto for years. Great fighter, but I couldn’t figure out why people weren’t catching him. Obviously Shogun [Rua] did. It’s there, but people have been mystified by that little bit of awkward movement he uses. Don’t focus on what he does. Do whatever you’re going to do. That’s what we focus on."
Really? That’s all it takes to beat Machida?
I can’t believe nobody ever figure that out. Now I can understand why Gibson’s gym has so many reputable fighters.
All of the guys in this video had the same idea, but catching Machida is easier said than done.