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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

UFC: Rampage Jackson Ends Career of Iceman

In all the excitement of the Donovan McNabb's aerial extravaganza and Andre' Woodson leading Kentucky to another thrilling comeback win, we were remiss in providing coverage of a wonderful UFC card this weekend.

The headline brawl featured former light heavyweight ruler, Chuck 'The Iceman' Liddell versus Keith 'The Dean of Mean' Jardine.

On paper, it should have been a tune up for the Iceman. Despite the appeal of Jardine's rhyming nickname, he had a middle of the road track record and is considered a tough guy, but a marginal talent.

The one variable that everyone -except our readers- forgot: Liddell is damaged goods.

Having suffered a humiliating and humbling beating at the hands of all time great light heavyweight, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson; Liddell proved to be both a physically and psychologically beaten man.

Certainly, Jardine is a man of strong will. However, Liddell was a shadow of the man that garnered magazine covers and wide acclaim as perhaps being the best pound per pound fighter on the planet.

Jardine wasn't particularly crafty or well polished. He didn't employ any unique or technically impressive strategies. And, he took the once stone fisted right hand of Liddell without major difficulty. Throughout the fight Jardine hammered the legs of Liddell with potent leg kicks. While powerful,they were telegraphed and unsurprising. It was as if Liddell's spirit, life and will to fight had been left outside the Octagon.

Certainly, Jardine played a minimal role in this. His lumbering and slow style and marginal skills should have had a 'great' fighter like Liddell chomping at the bit. But Liddell was thoroughly unimpressive, unmotivated and unprepared. Even sporting a bit of paunch on his once trim abdominal region.

The only logical conclusion to this performance is that the thorough dismantling administered by Jackson shed the dark light of reality directly into the eyes of Liddell.

His time was over.

After essentially retiring Liddell, Jackson went on to 'unify' the light heavy title by defeating Dan Henderson while Liddell gave a passionless performance in an effort to score one more pay day before being turned out to pasture.

So, while Keith Jardine will get the W in his record, anyone who understands MMA agrees that he should really be splitting his purse with Rampage Jackson.

It doesn't take sunlight to melt Ice. Darkness melts Ice.

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