Apparently, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has never heard the phrase “don’t quit your day job”. Recently cast as B.A. Baracus in the upcoming Hollywood remake of The A-Team, Rampage has had to postpone his upcoming fight with heated rival and fellow coach on this season’s The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights, “Suga” Rashad Evans. Not pleased with that decision, UFC President Dana White has made his displeasure clear by publicly chastising Jackson. In response, Jackson has decided to call it quits and hang up his gloves in search of what ostensibly could be an easier and more profitable career on the big screen.
Evans, the slighted fighter now left without an opponent, recently conducted an interview with Cagewriter and shared his thoughts on the matter.
When asked about Rampage’s sudden decision to leave the UFC, Evans responded, “He’s jumping the gun a little bit. I think that him coming out and saying stuff like that was a bit premature. Rampage is a very emotional person, and he just let his emotions take over his rational thinking. I think that him and Dana White just probably need to talk it out, and get past it. I think it’s just a breakdown in communication.”
Evans also believed White played a part in this unfortunate turn of events, stating, “Dana’s the kind of guy who is going to say what is on his mind, maybe without thinking it through all the way . . . Rampage is a hothead, as well. You get two tempers like that, go at each other like that, it makes the situation hard to work through.”
It has been well documented that Evans and Jackson truly harbor animosity for one another and Evans is genuinely disappointed not to have the chance to battle his nemesis. He stated, “I would have loved to punch him in the face . . . I’d be disappointed not to fight him. It would be a good fight, a fun fight, but mostly because he talked trash. He got me really angry, and I want to fight him just because of that alone. It’s a fight that people want to see. You get your mind wrapped up, and you get your mind so psyched up about fighting a fighter, and then it doesn’t happen, it’s disappointing.”
Not typically the aggressor, Evans faults Rampage for the bad blood between them. When asked about the tension on The Ultimate Fighter set, Evans clarified that those altercations were not for the cameras. “We came close (to fighting) a couple times. Not even just on the set, but outside the set, just out in Vegas,” he explained. “I saw him in the club one time, and I walked by his table. He jumped down, and was running his mouth, and he got a shove in on me. I think now, he’s trying to make it a thing every time he sees me, to jump down and try to get in a shove.”
Evans has tried to remain above the fray and credits his professionalism for his restraint. He shared, “I hate making a fight personal. At the end of the day, we’re professional athletes, and we get paid to do a job. I try to stay professional. I don’t want to fight for free, but if I have to . . .”
Unfortunately for mixed martial arts fans, unless Evans decides to become the aggressor or Jackson finds that Hollywood is more brutal than the cage, we may never see these two former UFC light heavyweight champions square off in the Octagon.