In the long run, Quinton
Jackson wants what anybody wants out of a career: Respect,
appreciation and the occasional “thank you.”
And even though the former UFC light heavyweight champion is
adamant that money doesn’t matter, getting paid market value for
his services probably wouldn’t hurt, either.
On Monday, Rampage aired his grievances with the
UFC to Bas Rutten in a
candid interview on HDNet’s “Inside MMA,” expressing a desire to
part ways with the promotion, perhaps even before his current
contract expires. Jackson’s dissatisfaction with the promotion
reached its apex following his loss to Ryan Bader at
144 in Saitama, Japan, a bout in which the Memphis native says
he fought while suffering from a knee injury.
“I don’t want to fight for the UFC anymore. Fans don’t understand.
They think just because I make a lot of money that I should be
happy because I’ve got a nice house. But I’ve always stated that I
fight for money because that’s my career,” Jackson said. “The thing
is, the UFC knew I was injured [going into UFC 144], and they knew
I still fought for them. Honestly, I feel like if I didn’t fight on
that card in Japan I don’t think the appeal would have been as big.
I feel like if I would have pulled out with an injury, I don’t
think they would have done as well in Japan as they did.”
Jackson came in five pounds overweight for his Jan. 25
confrontation with Bader and looked subpar in dropping a unanimous
decision to the Power MMA representative. The former Arizona State
University wrestler controlled the majority of the contest on the
mat, as Rampage struggled to overcome his opponent’s consistently
dominant positioning. Jackson feels that the matchmaking was
designed to make him look bad.
“I didn’t like the opponent that they were giving me. I think Joe
Silva needs to be slapped in the face. I’m sorry, but if you’ve got
a fighter like me who likes to go out and put on fights, why are
you gonna give me wrestlers who are gonna take me down and hump
me?” he said.
Pride Fighting Championships standout also asserted that he
wasn’t properly recognized by his employer for fighting at less
than 100 percent.
“I think that the UFC should say thank you to Rampage. This is my
first time ever not making weight. They could tell that something
was wrong. In my whole career I’ve always been respectful to
everybody and made weight,” he said. “Why would I want to give 20
percent of my purse for not making weight?”
Jackson attributes some of his weight issues to the testosterone
replacement therapy he received prior to the fight. The 33-year-old
admitted to undergoing the treatment and believes that it would
have had positive effects on his performance had he not been
“I did use TRT, because my doctor prescribed it to me, because my
[testosterone] levels were low, and he said it would help me heal
up my knee. I never backed off those statements, not once. I didn’t
even have to give that information. I chose to give it, because a
lot of people out there are cheating with steroids and stuff, and
some people are even abusing TRT, and I choose not to,” he said. “I
think it’s a good thing if fighters don’t abuse it.
“I saw a big difference right away,” Jackson continued. “It was
very beneficial to me in my training. I felt like a 25-year-old
again. If my knee wasn’t injured, you guys would have seen a new
fighter. I’m hoping that my knee heals up pretty soon. I keep doing
exactly what the doctor asks me to do, and I’ll add 10 more years
to my fighting life.”
Where those 10 hypothetical years take place is anyone’s guess.
While Jackson doesn’t appear interested in setting foot in the
Octagon anytime soon, he made it clear that he is not done with
“I wish I didn’t have one more fight for them; I’m trying to get
out of this one fight. ...Fans think that the UFC is the only show
in town. I don’t care about money. I got money saved up and money
in other places. If you think I made all my money with the UFC
you’re wrong,” he said. “The UFC talks about how they’re in a
billion homes and they’re making all this money, and yet I’m making
less money than I used to make with the UFC.”
For Jackson, the solution to his current beef with the UFC is
simple: The organization hasn’t appreciated his contributions over
the years, so it might be best to sever the existing ties.
“After [my last fight] I was like, ‘I’m not putting my life on the
line for these guys no more.’ They know what’s going on, but
they’re still trying to make me look bad. They’re trying to make me
lose my fan base,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to be part of the
UFC. If Dana doesn’t want me to be bigger than the UFC, then let me
go. If they feel like I lost my appeal, then let me go.”