Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was with, what he termed, his “UFC family” today at the UFC 87 press conference in Minneapolis, Minn.
Rampage appeared to be in good spirits and publicly, for the first time, addressed some of the personal issues that have plagued the popular former light heavyweight champion over the past few weeks.
“I’m not allowed to say everything,” Jackson told Kevin Iole. “I was hurt by some personal problems I had. It caused me not to eat and not to sleep. Emotional, yeah.”
Jackson was up for days with nothing to eat when he sideswiped a couple of vehicles and was involved in a brief police chase before peacefully surrendering to authorities. Jackson, who was obviously distraught by his loss to Forrest Griffen at UFC 86, stopped short of blaming his “delirium” on the loss of his championship.
“It was a close fight, but I thought I won,” Jackson said. “I thought I did enough to win. I felt like I won the first round. I feel like I won the third round, and I felt like I won the fourth round. I felt like he won the … second and fifth. That’s how I feel, but I’m not a judge.
“It is what it is,” said Jackson. “I don’t care about fights because I’m a fighter. That’s not going to be the last fight I lose. Who cares about that? I don’t care about winning the fight. Who cares? I’m going to come back, train hard and make more money.”
Those close to Jackson say the emotional breakdown may have more to do with Jackson’s firing of his friend and spiritual mentor Juanito Iberra. According to sources close to the situation, the firing came over money; though Rampage was somewhat reluctant to discuss the topic telling Iole that we’d all find out what happened between the two of them, “soon enough”.
“I don’t want to get into trouble with anybody,” he said. “I love all these guys in the UFC. They’ve been great in supporting me. I’m happy to be out here and be a regular person again.”