Quinton “Rampage” Jackson feels like someone is watching him.
As the former UFC light heavyweight champion prepares for a clash with the current champ, Jon Jones, at UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage in September, he senses extra eyes always catching his every move.
Jackson (32-8) made up a story – that was untrue to start with – about a hand injury that he disclosed to only his closest training camp mates. A few hours later, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva called Jackson’s manager Anthony McGann, asking about the injury.
“One of my friends was talking to Jon Jones’ manager recently, and Jon Jones’ manager was saying that he knows everything that is going on in our camp. He said he had spies in our camp and he knew everything that was going on,” Jackson said. “That got me thinking. How did he know about my hand injury that fast? It wasn’t on the Internet, and yet he knew about my hand injury right away. The UFC people were in Brazil, which is why it probably took them four hours to call me.
“That shows me two things: They have spies in my camp, one, and two, they’re dumb as hell, because they didn’t know how to use the information correctly and to wait. He called right away, running to Joe Silva. Joe Silva called my manager right away. Of course they’re going to say they aren’t doing it, but we’ll put the story out there to the fans and let them decide.”
Jackson was only upset by the ‘spying’ because he does not operate that way.
“I don’t care what Jon Jones is doing, and I don’t care what his game plan is,” Jackson said. “I have zero care. I still have the honor of a fighter and going into battle the right way, not spying on my opponent. I’m not scared about my opponent, asking a lot of questions or worrying about what he’s doing. I don’t even watch film.”
Jones’ manager, Malki Kawa, said he only saw the information on Twitter and does not have a spy in the Jackson camp.
“I promise to God, I have no spy in that camp,” Kawa said. “It’s completely and totally untrue. There is nothing to it at all. It’s funny he said that, though, because we’ve heard he has had old training partners of Jon coming in to work with him. We don’t care and it’s kind of hilarious he’s doing this. But I can guarantee you there is nothing at all that is true about this other than that I called Joe Silva after someone put out a thing on Twitter that Rampage was injured and pulling out. I wanted to know what was up, but it was no more than that. That is it.”
This isn’t the first time “Rampage” has made claims against a Kawa fighter, as he also believes Rashad Evans had insider information leading up to their fight last year. Kawa was Evans’ manager for a period of time, but was no longer managing him at the time of UFC 114 when the two meet.
Jackson claims Evans knew he had a knee injury and proceeded to punch him in his knee to see how he would react. Evans denies knowing this or directly trying to test the knee.
“I never heard a thing about it,” said Evans, who won the fight by unanimous decision and is awaiting his shot at the UFC light heavyweight champion. “I heard him talk about it after the fight. I didn’t know about it going into the fight. When I had him against the cage, I kept hitting him in the knee because of how he was reacting, not because anybody told me anything prior.
“When you’re in a fight, you just go for what you can get a reaction from. I’d punch him in the toe if I felt it was bothering him. We were leaning against the cage and it was really hard to take him down from there. I really couldn’t do much to him and he couldn’t do much to me. I wanted to keep the position and so I didn’t want the referee to break us. So I had to keep looking busy and I saw it was bothering him, so I kept hitting him in his leg. That was it.”
Jackson loves to spark controversy and talk in the pre-fight hype, and maybe this is just another way to do that. Regardless, he doesn’t seem worried about Jones.
“I don’t care what they see or who they have watching,” Jackson said. “We all know the story about this guy. He’s going to learn a hard less (on September 24). He’ll see.”