We have all heard the old cliché, ‘sometimes you can’t have too much of a good thing’, but in this case, after the announcement made by Wanderlei Silva this past Wednesday, I think there could be an exception to that motto.
September 29, 2018 mixed martial arts fans will witness another chapter in one of the most intense, heated, personal rivalries in all MMA as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will face hated rival “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva for a fourth time.
If you’ve followed the history of this feud, you’ll know that this rivalry all started in the now defunct legendary Pride Fighting Championships.
In their first meeting in the company, Silva defeated Jackson by TKO in November of 2003 , then again by KO in their secnd bout in October of 2004.
Soon thereafter, Jackson left Pride FC to join the UFC in 2007, where he would defeat Chuck Liddell and become the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
Not too long following Jackson’s arrival, Silva returned to the UFC in August 2007 after an earlier but short stint in 1998.
Six years after their first two bouts, they met again for the trilogy fight in December of 2008 at UFC 92 where Jackson was finally able to get the monkey off his back as he defeated Silva with a powerful first round knockout.
Now 11 years later, with both men now in Bellator MMA, they’ll fight again for a fourth time.
With Silva leading the series 2-1, longtime head coach Andre Dida is supremely confident that despite the loss in 2008 to Jackson, he will defeat him again.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Dida says the wiley veteran is motivated like never before.
“Keeping that flame on until the fight, he will surprise ‘Rampage’ and everyone else,” Wanderlei Silva’s coach told MMA Fighting. “He’s working hard, dedicating for this fight. Wanderlei is really hungry.”
In this fourth fight, Silva will not only see this as an opportunity to defeat his arch nemesis once again, but more importantly to get back to his winning ways after dropping his Bellator debut bout to Chael Sonnen.
Knowing the nature of Rampage Jackson’s style of fighting, Silva’s teams believes this is a perfect match up for their fighter.
“We know he likes to brawl, and that’s great for the fans, who will watch a great fight, and for Wanderlei, because the style matches up well for him,” Dida said. “Wanderlei has many weapons to beat Quinton Jackson. Every time Quinton Jackson tried to break Wanderlei standing, Wanderlei went there and broke him. He always tries to go toe-to-toe and ends up dying. We know what to do. Wanderlei is aggressive, everybody knows that, and we’ll keep him at his best for the fight.”
“We know what went wrong,” Dida said of the 2008 loss to “Rampage”. “Wanderlei fought in a way and Quinton Jackson fired back. If Quinton Jackson does that again, we’ll catch him. Wanderlei Silva is hungry. It’s a new fight. Wanderlei is happy, living and training in Brazil again, and we’ll make sure he has his hands raised in the end.”
It’s interesting to know that Jackson-Silva IIII will be fought at heavyweight, which Dida believes will be beneficial to both fighters immensely.
“Cutting weight is not good for Wanderlei Silva anymore,” Dida said. “Wanderlei Silva is stronger and heavier today, and he would need more time to cut weight. It’s good for Quinton Jackson, too. They both will be fit to do their best in there without draining their bodies.”
Going into the fight Andre Dida expects that Silva will yet again finish this fight by knockout when steps into the cage with Jackson and put an emphatic ending to this storied feud.
“I think it’s a one-round fight,” Dida said. “Wanderlei Silva’s hands are quick. We couldn’t show much against Sonnen, but when he did he knocked him down. Wanderlei’s timing is great, and I can get his best in the gym. Speed, knees, aggressiveness. ‘Rampage’s’ style favors us.”
“We’re doing everything to have him sharp for the fight,” he added. “We also know ‘Rampage’ can try to wrestle him during the fight, but we have plenty of time to get him ready for all areas. Wanderlei Silva has heavy hands. He touches and the guy goes down.”