He's on a rampage

JOSE RODRIGUEZ

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

He has no belt and has yet to set foot in the UFC Octagon.

Still, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson commands the respect and adoration normally reserved for champions.

Jackson, for all his lack of North American exposure, has one distinction no other fighter on Earth can lay claim to: An unavenged victory over UFC light-heavyweight champ Chuck 'The Iceman' Liddell.

"Everyone keeps talking about that so I guess it's pretty special," says Jackson, who with gold tooth caps and a rumble chain around his neck, looks more like a member of 50 Cent's entourage than a martial artist.

The former Pride star is on a collision course with the Iceman. It's the main reason he was brought in by UFC president Dana White.

And when the showdown takes place, Jackson is certain he will once again have his hand raised - this time, with a championship belt for good measure.

"Chuck's another day at the office for me," says the Memphis native, who at 28 has amassed a 25 and six mixed-martial arts record and a legion of fiercely devoted fans.

"I train my butt off and I'll take it to him like I took it to him the first time."

In Pride: Final Conflict 2003, Jackson scored a second round TKO due to strikes victory over Liddell. Liddell has avenged the two other blemishes on his 20 and 3 record, but the loss to Jackson has gnawed at him for the past three-and-a-half years.

But before Jackson gets his shot at Liddell, he must avenge a loss of his own.

He'll make his UFC debut Feb.3 against Marvin 'Beastman' Eastman - who beat Jackson when the two last fought in July of 2000.

"Back then I didn't know anything. I remember getting my butt kicked," says Jackson, who has been training in Big Bear with Tito Ortiz. "It was my first professional fight. Now I have better standup, better cardio, I'm more focused and I've had more than 30 fights. Hopefully Marvin Eastman comes ready to battle."

FIGHTNOTES:

- Pride heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko has no plans to join the parade of top fighters leaving the Japanese fight club for the UFC.

- Alberta prison guard Jason 'The Athlete' MacDonald has earned himself a top-billing fight. MacDonald will take on former middleweight champ Rich 'Ace' Franklin at UFC 68: The Uprising on March 3. MacDonald has been impressive in his two UFC fights choking out Chris 'The Crippler' Leben and submitting Ed 'Short Fuse' Herman.

This will be Franklin's first fight since losing his belt in a lopsided scrap against Anderson 'Spider' Silva in October. The fight will take place in Franklin's home state of Ohio.


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