UFC 144 in Japan was supposed to be Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s coming home party, but it’s been anything but smooth thus far.
The former Pride star who fought for much of his career in Japan struggled through his training camp to get ready for opponent Ryan Bader, and after an injury occurred, he went against his doctor’s advice and decided to stick it out and take the fight anyways.
The downside of that choice however was Jackson weighing in on Friday at 211 pounds, six pounds over the light heavyweight limit.
Jackson pointed towards the injury as to why he came in so heavy for this fight and just couldn’t shed the extra weight.
“Well, I wasn’t going to say anything. I thought I was going to make the weight, but I got injured in my camp that kind of hindered me from doing a lot of running. But I didn’t want to miss this fight cause this fight’s so important to me and I fought so hard to get it. So I said forget it, I’m just going to man up and still make the fight,” Jackson told Fuel TV after the weigh-ins ended.
“I kept training in other ways, I just couldn’t get my road work in a lot. Then I healed up I got my roadwork in but then it was a little bit too late. I started cutting weight, I had a lot of weight to cut and I cut 21 pounds. I just couldn’t get the last six. I tried my best. It’s kind of difficult. You’ve got to weigh in earlier and I kind of underestimated the time. I woke up at three o’clock this morning cutting weight, but I cut everything I had.”
While Jackson insists that the injury he suffered during camp is now healed up, his weight was already at a point where it was going to be very tough to cut down to 205 pounds.
“I had to cut a lot of weight, I’m not comfortable saying how much weight I had to cut, but it’s the most weight I ever had to cut in my life and when I got off the airplane I knew I retained a lot of water, and I really didn’t eat that much on the airplane. Just a few snacks that I brought with me and I was so surprised that I gained more weight on the airplane. It kind of surprised me,” Jackson stated.
“I didn’t know I wasn’t going to make weight until a couple hours ago.”
Back in the Fuel TV studios in Los Angelest, former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin was there as an analyst. He stated that coming in that much over weight generally means a fighter didn’t take their job seriously or something happened during camp that prevented them from making weight.
Obviously, as Jackson revealed, an injury seemed to be the cause of his weight cutting problems, but the former Pride star took Franklin to task for questioning if he was really taking the fight with Bader seriously or not.
“Well, my friend already texted me what Rich Franklin said and Rich Franklin needs to watch his mouth before I smack him the next time I see him. He’s a fighter just like I’m a fighter; he should watch what he say. You don’t question whether a fighter taking a fight seriously or not. I take all my fights seriously,” Jackson insisted.
“I’m tired of people saying that. So what I get ups and downs in my fight career just like everybody else. I’m still here. I’ve been around for 11 years, but I’m still here and I take all my fights seriously. I’m tired of people questioning me. I haven’t backed out of a fight yet due to injuries. I fight, if I win I win, if I lose, I lose. I’ve won some fights injured and I’ve lost some fights injured. That’s just me. I’m the one that’s got to answer to them at the end of the day. That’s why I am the way I am, it’s my job to fight.”
Jackson says injuries have just been a part of life for him in the fight game, and this time he went against doctor’s orders to even take the fight in Japan, but being a part of this card meant too much to him to pull out.
“If I get injured, next thing I’m saying to my doctors is like, hey, can I still fight? This time my doctor was like, ‘no, you can’t fight,'” Jackson revealed.
“Through the grace of the most high I healed up and I kept training, even through my injury. I trained other things. I didn’t take no time off. I kept training, just my weight suffered. It happens.”
Jackson will forfeit 20-percent of his fight purse over to Ryan Bader for missing weight, but he will still get the chance to perform in front of the crowd in Japan on Saturday night.