DVD Review: UFC – Rampage Greatest Hits

Anchor Bay Release date: DVD: June 1st,l 2010, Blu-ray: June 8th, 2010
MSRP: DVD: $19.97, Blu-ray: $29.97

Quinton Rampage Jackson is about to gain more fame than ever before, thanks to his potrayal of B.A. Boracus in the upcoming film version of THE A-TEAM. But Jackson is already famous in the MMA world as one of the hardest hitting Light Heavyweights alive. Jackson first came to fame in the now defunct Pride Fighting Champions of Japan and eventually came to the UFC, in 2007, and won the LHW championship.

Last year, Quinton and UFC president Dana White got into a spat about Jackson pulling out of a planned bout so he could star in THE A-TEAM. Neither guy is shy when it comes to speaking his mind and a very colorful pissing match played out on the internet.

Jackson and White eventually made up and the UFC is now releasing Rampage Greatest Hits (Why is it not Rampage’s Greatest hits?). Had Jackson not come back, this collection might have had a totally different line-up filled with Jackson’s losses and mugshot. But the boys did make up and each has since found other targets for their anger.

There is a voice-over introduction by Jonathan Adams,  setting the scene before bouts.
Fights included:
Rampage Jackson vs. Yuki Ishikawa (Pride 17)
Jackson vs. Igor Vovchnchyn (Pride 22)
Jackson vs. Kevin Randleman (Pride 25)
Jackson vs. Chuck Liddell I (Pride Final Conflict 2003)
Jackson vs. Ricardo Arona (Pride Critical Countdown 2004)
Jackson vs. Marvin Eastman (UFC 67, Quinton’s UFC debut)
Jackson vs. Chuck Liddell (UFC 71, Quinton becomes the UFC Light Heavyweight champion)
Jackson vs. Dan Henderson (UFC 75, While not officially a unification bout, Dan was the final Pride 205 pound champion)
Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva (UFC 92)
Jackson vs. Keith Jardine (UFC 96)

It is interesting listening to the differences between Pride commentators Bas Rutan, Stephen Quadros and Mauro Ranallo and the UFC’s Joe Rogan and Michael Goldberg. Die-hard MMA fans will argue passionately as to who was the best, but I will simply say that I enjoyed both and found Bas Ruttan co(first Quardos and later Ranallo) more playful.

It is also interesting to listen and watch the differences between the Japanese (Pride) and UFC (U.S. and U.K.) audiences. The UFC crowds are more vocal and rowdy, with those of Pride being more reserved.

I am not going to go into too much detail about the fights themselves, but I will comment on this: It was interesting to re-watch Jackson/Liddell I. UFC President Dana White sat in on commentary and complained (bitched) about Chuck not following the game plan of throwing leg kicks early in the fight. Years later, it came out that Chuck had sustained a hamstring injury prior to the bout. Knowing that, one can understand why Liddell opted to make it a boxing match. I want to stress I am not making excuses for Chuck, he may well have still gotten blasted, but knowing about that injury does make things a little more interesting. As Chuck kept it quiet and Dana had no clue. Even if Chuck had thrown more kicks, Jackson might have still worn him down and put him out. Dana does show some class by offering to bring the UFC crew to Jackson’s locker room to help him prepare for the finals latter that night.

While the intent is clearly to make Jackson look good, not including some o his losses certainly weakens this set. Including his Pride debut, a loss to MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba, would hardly hurt his legacy. Jackson did better than many expected and that historic bout should be here. We hear Jackson say he felt he beat Forrest, yet viewers are not allowed to judge for themselves.

Picture:
The quality is uniformly good. Some of the later UFC bouts look better (especially on the Blu-ray) but nothing looks bad. Some of the older footage does have some issues, but it is minor and certainly does not affect the overall viewing pleasure. The Blu-ray does feature the UFC bouts in HD and they look great. The Pride bouts are in a 4:3 ration with the UFC ones in 16:9.

Extras:
Nothing really. This I don’t get. Why not toss in some old Pride promos or something? Give us a little extra stuff here! If nothing else, there should be a biography to give folks a look at Jackson and his life. They certainly have the footage from past UFC countdown shows.

While Die-hard MMA fans likely have most of these bouts on separate DVDs, this is a nice collection for casual fans interesting to seeing some of Jackon’s older bouts. With the inclusion of aforementioned bouts and some biographical material, this could be a really great release. As it is, it is still a solid disc with bang for the buck.

Order RAMPAGE GREATEST HITS on DVD or Blu-ray.

Jeremy Lynch