Found February 21, 2012 on Race Review Online:

Whether you just have a short downtime during work, or don't want a lengthy breakdown, these “Quick Breaks” are for you. "Quick Breaks" = short breakdowns of upcoming fights. In a summed up focus of strengths, weaknesses and variables; this will analyze what could happen in the fight, and end with this writer’s prediction.

UFC 144 (Japan) is coming to us on Saturday, and promises a night of exciting matchups. The lightweight title is on the line, but is just the icing on the cake for this layered card. The co-main event of the evening though, is one that Japanese fans are certainly looking forward to.

In the blue corner, you have Ryan Bader. A strong wrestler and overall well-rounded fighter, Bader is looking to get a win streak going again since losing two in a row. He is currently 13-2, and is coming off a knockout win. His confidence is up from that win, and he is humbled by his loss to Tito Ortiz before that. While not a history of them, his only blemishes on his record are from submission chokes. For the two chokes he has lost to, his only submission wins were from two chokes as well. However, the man he is slated to face is one to put his opponents to sleep in another fashion.

In the red corner you have Quinton Jackson. “Rampage” as he is more commonly called, is a lethal striker and has vicious counter punches. His recent years have seen more decision wins, but that may be due to the fact none of these guys want to stand in close quarters with him. Rampage is a legend in Pride, the premiere organization back in the day, which was held in the same arena as the UFC returns to this Saturday. Rampage might be popular in America, but he is truly a superstar in Japan.

Bader will want to take this fight to Jackson. Submissions are a little removed from Jackson’s game these days, with his last one in 2001; but since both Bader and himself are strong wrestlers, it may keep the fight standing. Both men have raw power in their hands, and it will be interesting to see if one can score a knockout. Bader has never been knocked out, or TKO’d in his career, and Rampage hasn’t lost via KO/TKO since his Pride days.

A factor that might have a big effect on the fight, is how motivated Rampage will be, since he will be in front of a big crowd who supports him. A full Saitama arena of fans all cheering for Rampage might be enough push for him to really look for a highlight reel finish. Also, having the crowd rooting for Jackson might add more pressure to Bader, so how he handles it is also up for question.

This fight should be a great one to watch, and seeing Rampage fight on the Japanese stage is an exciting aspect already. Both men will be looking to put on a show, and fans will not want to miss this bout.

Prediction: Rampage Jackson wins via KO/TKO late in the 1st round.

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(photo from sherdog.com)

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