Former UFC light heavyweight champion and current Bellator MMA fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson did not appear to be in a jovial mood earlier this week. Not long after Bellator MMA announced the ousting of former CEO Bjorn Rebney, Rampage talked about “retirement” again on his Instagram page.
It is not the first time the former champion talked about retirement. Despite his talent and accomplishments, Rampage once again is letting his emotions and feelings get the better of him.
On Wednesday, June 18, Rampage wrote the following caption with a picture of his fight with Chuck Liddell from 2003 in Pride FC:
“The 1st time Chuck and I fought was in Japan. Pride reps asked me 2 give him a good beating even tho I had 2 fights that night. I lost my 2nd fight that night cause I did what they asked,and they stood up the fight with Wand to soon, in my opinion. MMA hasn’t had my back they way I had it’s back. Time for me to think about retirement. Or fighting 4 myself.”
On one hand, Rampage has a point, so let’s be clear: Being an MMA fighter is a tough business. Some of the nicest and hardest workers never get anywhere. The sacrifices fighters make to be professional fighters, from cutting weight to competing in the actual fights, are astronomical. Fans can often be unfair and overly critical of fighters.
However, MMA is an industry. It’s not a person. MMA cannot “have his back.” The only person that can truly have Rampage’s back at the end of the day is himself. Also, it is through MMA that he is able to enjoy the life that he does. Without his career in UFC and Pride, he would not have been able to fulfill a lifelong dream by playing B.A. Baracus in The A-Team movie.
When Rampage was arrested for reckless driving, felony evading and hit-and-run charges, it was the UFC that did have his back and got him off easy on those charges.
Rampage seems to always have complaints about his career or fighters, like wrestlers who are always trying to “wrassle” him. Well, guess what? In the United States, a lot of good fighters have wrestling backgrounds, and so does Jackson for that matter.
The days of being matched up with easier fights in Pride FC are over, and while Rampage might be upset about how his second fight went on the night he beat Liddell, when he was knocked out by Wanderlei Silva, getting that knockout win over Liddell was great for his career in the long run. When he was matched up against Liddell again, he beat the man and won the UFC belt.
In the latter days of his UFC career, Rampage complained about not making as much money as he used to. The reason he was not making as much money was because he was no longer champion, he was losing more fights, and he also failed to make weight against Ryan Bader. When your career is in decline, you probably are not making as much money as you did at your peak.
If Rampage really wants to retire this time, then he needs to stop talking about it and do it. However, one might suspect that just like 2009, Rampage will go back on his words as well.