Originally posted on 5thRound.com  |  Last updated 2/20/12

When Quinton Jackson (Pictured) battles Ryan Bader this Saturday at UFC 144, it will mark exactly six years since the last time “Rampage” fought in Japan. While the veteran has appeared in countless classics in The Land of the Rising Sun, there will be a special cheering section in his corner for this weekend’s scrap.

“Fighting in Japan is very important to me, personally. My kids are from Japan, my kids’ grandparents are from there. They’ve never really watched me fight back in the day,” Jackson expressed on a recent conference call.

“My two younger kids can come watch me fight and the in-laws can be in the crowd and watch me fight. I never had that before, so it is something that I want to do.”

Prior to making his Octagon debut in February of 2007, Rampage made his claim to mixed martial arts fame with his epic battles in the Orient. Of his 41 professional fights, 18 of them have taken place in Japan. Although he didn’t always come out on the winning end of the shootouts, the slugger’s charisma and willingness to engage allowed him to become a fan-favorite.

“I love that place,” Rampage flatly stated. “I think I was so popular in Japan because of my fight style. I was young and I didn’t care. I just wanted to put on shows for the crowd and they love that type of stuff.

“I really miss fighting there. So [returning there] was something personal for me.”

December of 2000 was the last time the UFC hosted a show in Japan. However, despite his overwhelming fan base overseas, Rampage was nearly left off the company’s roster and he had to scratch, claw and complain his way into the lineup.

“Well, my manager has informed me not to go into that. That could get me in trouble with some people at the UFC. You guys know I had to fight [to make it] on this card. That’s all I can go into,” Jackson shared.

UFC 144 takes place inside the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Rampage’s tango with Bader will serve as the night’s co-featured attraction.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Adrien Broner uses Bruce Jenner zinger after win

ESPN explains reason for Dabo Swinney interview error

Brian Kelly: Kizer made right call on 2-point play

Jim Mora calls UCLA's upcoming schedule 'a complete injustice'

Tommy Tuberville returned to Auburn, lined up at Tiger Walk

WATCH: Arizona State pushes pile 20 yards on TD run


Jim McElwain still won't name Will Grier Florida's starter

Steve Smith has microfractures in back, out for Week 5

Cowboys want Brandon Weeden to attempt longer passes

Nebraska captain tells crowd 'I'm sorry we suck'

Report: Dolphins could fire some coaches if team loses to Jets

Georgia fans get #FireRicht trending on Twitter

Cormier tops Gustafsson at UFC 192

Robert Smith wants Braxton Miller back at QB

WATCH: Clemson, Swinney have locker room dance party

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

WATCH: Dabo Swinney interview awkwardly cut off

Ohio St. LB Darron Lee has message for fans after close win

WATCH: Swedish league player unties opponent's skates

Max Scherzer throws second no-hitter of the season

Ezekiel Elliott jokes he owes his OL a steak dinner

Mike Riley explains questionable pass play on third down

Torey Lovullo would be 'honored' by managerial offers

WATCH: Ohio State stops Indiana on 4th down to win game

McIlroy: Spieth, Day have made me hungry again

MMA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

Rick Pitino and the shadows that never leave

Chad Johnson ... Steelers kicker?

Flacco deserves more from the Ravens

Time for Neymar's Barcelona

Seth Rollins, WWE depth, Divas and winning

Madison Keys and the future of women’s tennis

Most underrated games in NFL Week 4

What to watch in CFB Week 5

Starter strategies for final, tie-breaker and wild card games

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker