Quinton “Rampage” Jackson talks with MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani in Tokyo, Japan days before his bout against Ryan Bader at UFC 144. Usually aggressive with ‘beta’ Helwani, we actually see Rampage open up and talk on numerous topics. Jackson explains his reasoning for his strong love of Japan and its culture. From there the former champ talks about his first fight in Japan for Pride FC against the Japanese star Kazushi Sakuraba. A bout that ended with Rampage being submitted via rear-naked choke in the first.
“I still think to this day that someone poisoned me. Sakuraba’s so famous, he’s super famous. No matter where I went, they had already promoted me. Everybody knew what I looked like. So if I go eat somewhere, it felt like someone… It might be my mind playing tricks on me, but I had to lose a lot of weight. I’m a wrestler so I’ve had to do before. My stomach felt really weird and I was so sick. I said in the press, oh I don’t feel good. I still fought, and I still gave 100 percent”
Rampage also lends more credence to the rumors of fixed fights in the Pride FC organization as he says that he was told that he would be given a bonus for being knocked out or ‘not tapping’ to submission against Sakuraba.
Jackson also talks on his view on religion after a religious friend betrayed him, before jumping right into his love for ladies legs. In regards to his boss Dana White, he said that he is a ‘good guy, when he wants to be,’ referring to White bailing Rampage out of a serious car accident.