Last time we took off from Rampage’s ‘spy-gate,’ accusations, Jones, his manager, and even Rashad Evans denied Jackson’s claims that they planted a spy in his camp. Now the latest in the revelations is that manager Malki Kawa has addressed the issue once again in a more ‘professional’ manner via MMAJunkie.com
As an agent and manager, I often receive phone calls and e-mails with tips from reporters, fans, friends and even business colleagues throughout the MMA world. I have never placed a spy in any camp or hired someone to spy on a camp, nor have I ever proactively inquired about information from any camp. As is the case with any agent or manager, I do receive information on a regular basis that is the result of a tight-knit MMA community where everybody knows everybody.
Early last week, I received a phone call from one of my employees who informed me that he had seen a tweet stating that he had heard of the possibility of Mr. Jackson suffering a hand injury and it may be serious. While Mr. Jackson finds it inconsequential that information of this variety may be on the internet, it is still my job as a manager to follow up on this information with the UFC. Any such injury would directly effect my client and his training in preparation for a fight on Sept. 24, a date that is approaching fast, especially if the possibility of a new opponent existed.
I followed proper protocol in such an instance and contacted Joe Silva immediately to inquire about the possibility of Mr. Jackson not being about to fight. Contrary to Mr. Jackson’s statements, Mr. Silva was actually in the United States at the time of my phone call with him. After follow-up calls from Mr. Silva regarding this situation, it was confirmed that Mr. Jackson indeed had not been injured and was training to fight Jon “Bones” Jones. For me and my client, this issue had been closed.
I am sorry that Mr. Jackson feels that he has someone in his camp that is calling other people with sensitive information within his camp. He is unwilling to state who this “spy” is but is more than happy to attempt to damage other reputations in his wake. This leads me to believe that Mr. Jackson is simply looking for a way to create a distraction or create more pre-fight hype. Mr. Jackson has made accusations of cheating against multiple fighters throughout his career, none of which has ever been remotely close to being proven true. This case is no different.
Mr. Jackson has informed the media and public more of what is happening in his training camp in the past three days than any spy he believes is present could have possibly shared.
At this time, the entire team at First Round Management considers this non-issue dead. Our team is setting its sights fully on UFC 135 in Denver as Jon “Bones” Jones makes his first defense of the light heavyweight title.
After all that hoopla, Rampage has a simple response.
“Come on. Think about it. If that was on Twitter, that would have been big news. Me pulling out of the fight with Jon Jones? That would have been big news already. So you can just tell that he’s lying, he’s full of s—, and he’s dumb.”
Rampage is still confident that the excuses are ridiculous and that there is a rat in his team. What does this mean for his upcoming title fight Aug. 24? Will Rampage’s training suffer due to paranoia of Jones trying to get the inside scoop?