Over the years, former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has gained a reputation for being one of the most fiery and explosive fighters before, during and after a fight. As he heads into his UFC 123 match with Lyoto Machida, the best word to describe Rampage’s mood for this fight is subdued.
Gone are the days of the loud shouting matches with Rashad Evans, Jackson is now solely focused on the task at hand and that’s getting past another former champion in Machida.
Jackson is honest when talking about the fight with Evans that something was off that night, but it wasn’t just that night in particular. It was something that happened in the weeks leading up to the fight that he knew would result in a loss.
“I know exactly the reason why I lost that fight,” Jackson said on Thursday. “I knew I lost that fight before I even stepped in the cage. The day I lost that fight was a couple of weeks before the fight even started, so it didn’t have nothing to do with the movie tour or anything.”
While the former Pride fighter wanted to keep what happened to himself, Jackson admits that sometimes fights happen even when you’re not 100% mentally or physically, but you still go out and perform.
“Sometimes we fight even when we shouldn’t fight. I owed it to my fans to fight, no matter what the outcome was,” Jackson stated.
Looking to get back to full time fighting following the loss to Evans and a brief tour for his movie “The A-Team”, Jackson pulled up camp from his home team in England with the Wolfslair and returned home to California to get ready for Machida.
Rampage chalks it up to needing to spend time at home because no matter how much he wants to fight and win this upcoming bout, some things are just more important in the big picture.
“I just bought a new house and I just decided to train right down the street from my house cause I’ve been traveling a lot and doing movies. Right after the fight with Rashad, I went on a tour with the movie. I just wanted to train and see my family, see my kids,” Jackson said.
“It’s not always about me. My kids miss me and when you spend a lot of time away from your kids, they get used to not seeing you, and I just want to be close to my kids.”
A happy fighter with his family may be just the medicine Jackson needed as he gets ready for his main event fight at UFC 123. Whether the fire is boiling over for Rampage before fight night is inconsequential.
What matters most is that Jackson is prepared and truly ready for the challenge that lay ahead in Detroit on Nov 20.
“There’s a lot of things different,” Jackson said about training for Evans and now getting ready for Machida. “I’ve been more focused and had a lot of time to train. I took a long time off not training, and your body goes into shock when you go into a hard camp. So this time my body’s doing good and this time I’m more prepared.”
He’ll look to show off the preparation when he faces Lyoto Machida in the main event of UFC 123 next weekend in Detroit.