Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s motivation for MMA competition has openly waned in the past few years, especially when the Hollywood offers were coming in steady. So, when the 33-year-old former UFC light heavyweight champion lost emphatically in a bid to reclaim his title from current 205lbs. top dog Jon Jones, many wondered what affect it would have on the future of Jackson’s fighting career.
In a recent blog he wrote for Yahoo! Sports, Jackson answered: very little. Fresh off of opening his first gym, Rampage explained that he’s as motivated as ever to face Ryan Bader later this month at UFC 144, especially because the fight will take place at his old stomping ground, the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
“Nothin’ is promised to no one. I should beat Ryan Bader at UFC 144 in Japan next Saturday –- and I plan on knocking his ass out in front of my Japanese fans –- but I’ve put in the work in the gym to make sure I do that,” he wrote, before continuing later, “Some haters have said now that I didn’t get my belt back after three years of waiting for my shot, I’m not going to be motivated in my fighting career. That is what my English friends call ‘bollocks’.
“I am very motivated to kick Bader’s ass. I was a little pissed off and disappointed that I didn’t get my belt back and I was upset with my performance. I’m going to take that out on Ryan Bader and –- in front of the Japanese fight fans –- put on a great fight.”
Rampage and Bader will meet in the co-main event of UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson on Saturday, February 26 (25 in North America).