Rampage

An intimate portrait of mixed martial artist Quinton Jackson—and of the growing American fixation with the warriors who earn their living beating each other bloody.
  1. I’m the best fighter in the world. I’m the ugliest fighter in the world. Can’t nobody hurt me.

    Stripped to the waist inside a tiny sweatbox gym inside an A-frame house on an industrial street near Big Bear Lake, California, a mixed-martial-arts fighter named Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is quick-stepping around a heavy bag, making it jump with thudding four- and five-punch combinations while chanting his mantra.

    Juanito Ibarra, the fighter’s trainer, looks pleased. “I brought up his jab two inches for this fight,” he says. Jackson, the defending light-heavyweightchampion of the UFC—Ultimate Fighting Championship—will take on Forrest Griffin over the July 4 weekend at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Ibarra expects that Griffin will try to use his longer reach to keep Jackson from scoring a quick knockout, and that his efforts will be unsuccessful. “They have to have a plan to beat Rampage. They have to follow it to a T,” Ibarra says. “Their margin for error is tiny...

The complete text of “Rampage” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.theatlantic.com.

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