Newly signed Bellator and TNA fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson seemed a bit somber during his latest interview on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani (June 10). After months of trash talking his former employers at the UFC, Rampage came off as apologetic about his actions that led to the sour relationship with UFC president Dana White.
“I doubt he’ll (Dana White) miss me at all. I’m pretty sure I was a thorn in UFC’s side for awhile. I did everything in my power to fix the relationship. Honestly, I was wrong doing “The A-Team” movie because I was scheduled to fight Rashad in Memphis. That was a hard decision for me. I know I messed up by doing that. That’s why I didn’t pull out of that fight in Japan (February 26, 2012, against Ryan Bader) when I was injured. I wanted to show Dana that I still got his back and I thought I could beat Bader even with an injury. So I thought I was going to try to fix this relationship, but then that made it worse. Because Dana was saying face to face that everything was cool, but then talked shit behind my back for not making weight and said a few things in the press. That was the straw the broke the camel’s back. That’s when I knew there was no repairing that relationship and that’s the day I decided to say I am going to leave the UFC.”
He may be regretful on his decision to pull out of the UFC’s custom card in his hometown, but Rampage sounds to be happy where he is now, regardless.
“I’m in a lot better place. It’s hard to explain. When you’re sweating tears and they won’t let you have sponsors, they tax the sponsors, you want to make a movie, man, we’re human beings, a lot of people would give their left leg to do a movie. ‘The A-Team,’ B.A. Baracus, he was an icon for my people for a lot of years. A lot of people were up for that role, I felt like I was trying to further my career. You can’t fight forever. I took a lot of heat for that. The UFC didn’t see the big picture, but Bellator said, ‘We’ll get you movies. We’ll get you sponsors. Do all the movies you want. It’s better for the brand for the sport. So it’s a good thing.”
Not that the leading MMA organization is all bad says Jackson.
“I didn’t say it was all bad. I always said the UFC is a good company and it’s a good brand. I just say that they watch out for their own brand. They don’t really watch out for the fighters. They cut fighters left and right. We got kids. A lot of people forget that fighters are humans. We have families to take care of. We have bills. If you just cut a fighter, what is he going to do, where is he going to go?”
Photographer: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports