The always odd, always entertaining, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson recently spoke with Fighters Only magazine about his spat with the UFC, acting on “The A-Team” movie and falling out of love with MMA.
“Rampage” was quick to give credit to those working in the film industry, saying that his experience working on “The A-Team” was, “hard work.” Jackson went on, “I got a lot more respect for actors now, they put in a lot more work than you would expect…It’s a whole other world, I’ve got much respect for the movie industry.”
In July of 2008 “Rampage” was charged with felony reckless driving and felony hit and run after leading police on a bizarre chase through California; the UFC provided bail and lawyers to help Jackson get off light when the case went to court. So many were quick to criticize Jackson when, a little over a year later, Jackson took a starring role as B.A. Baracus in the upcoming “The A-Team” movie instead of honoring his agreement to fight Rashad Evans at the conclusion of season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter”. Jackson says that the situation wasn’t so black and white.
“It’s kind of unfortunate that they are trying to blame me for doing this movie like I turned my back on them after ‘all they’ve done for me’ when I feel like I have done a lot of things for them as well,” said Jackson. He detailed the claim, saying, “There has been plenty of movies that I was supposed to do but I couldn’t do it because The Ultimate Fighter show came up, and I hate doing The Ultimate Fighter show, but I did it for them.”
Jackson says that his feud with the UFC has caused him to lose affinity for the fight game.
“I like [the fight game] a lot less than what I used to do,” said Jackson. But another quote he issued reveals that his drive to fight may never have been about a love of the game. “I don’t know how much I ever loved the fight game to be honest. Most guys these days become a fighter because they became a fan of it and when I started I wasn’t a fan of it, I had been a fighter my whole life. I just thought it was a blessing that god gave me something I could make money from. When I was a kid I got tired of fighting. I didn’t want to fight any more but I guess it’s just something in my blood, some people are fighters.”
With this, the strained relationship he has with his employer, and his newfound desire to act, it should come as no surprise that Jackson’s future as a fighter is uncertain. “…I am done with the UFC,” said “Rampage”. “They cant ask any more favors from me, nothing. I just want to finish my contract and get out of there, do my own thing.”
It will be interesting to see if all of these out-of-the-ring distractions, coupled with a waning desire to fight, will result in a bad performance or a loss for Jackson when he takes on Rashad Evans at UFC 114 on May 29. We are only left to wonder if “Rampage” will join the likes of Dan Henderson and switch promotions (Henderson moved to Strikeforce after failed contract negotiations with the UFC) or if he will end his fighting career permanently upon the termination of his UFC contract.