Having admitted that he doesn’t even go on the internet to read what people have to say, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s feelings couldn’t have exactly been hurt by the outcry on every MMA website and forum that he was ducking Lyoto Machida. Rampage, of course, was next in line for a crack at the light heavyweight title after UFC 98, when Lyoto Machida won the belt. UFC President Dana White even announced that Rampage would be facing Machida next at the UFC 98 post-event press conference.
Rumors had been circulating before UFC 98 that Jackson was heading to Las Vegas to coach the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, but his opposing coach was yet to be determined. After UFC 98, Lyoto Machida being the rival coach almost seemed to be a given, however Machida’s camp came out and said that he would not be participating in the show because he wanted to fight sooner than being on the show would allow him to. A language barrier was certainly another reason as to why Machida decided to pass. Rampage’s opposing coach was then announced to be his new arch nemesis – the former light heavyweight champ – Rashad Evans.
Before Rampage and Rashad throw down, most likely on the UFC’s final card of the year, Jackson must deal with a gauntlet of questions as to why he passed on an opportunity to reclaim the belt he once owned.
“If people used their common sense, they would see what my game plan is,” Jackson said in a recent interview with ESPN Radio. “These people don’t walk in my shoes, they don’t put food on my table, they don’t set up college funds for my kids, so I don’t care what they say. I’m not chicken or scared of no one.”
Rampage does have a point, as the list of fighters his has battled of the years would indicate. Wanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua, and Chuck Liddell, just to name a few, are some of the most intimidating guys in the sport, so to say Jackson is afraid of stepping in the cage against Machida would be a bit of a stretch. So what is the reason Jackson passed on the chance to fight for the title?
“Me coaching The Ultimate Fighter show, it’ll be more revenue for me in the future,” Jackson said. “A lot more people watch the show than they do the pay-per-views, and you can get a lot better numbers in a fight coming off the show.” So there you have it. Quite simply put, it’s all about the benjamins. And you can’t argue that Rampage doesn’t like being in front of the camera, so this decision seems to have been an easy one, at least in his eyes.
And for all you “12 year olds, with no life and no girlfriends talking smack,” as Rampage so kindly put it, he may not be reading what you say on the internet, but he’s always watching. To see the full interview, head over to our videos section.