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ARTICLE – RAMPAGE LOOKS FORWARD TO REMATCHES
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has come along way from the banks of the Mississippi River, growing up in Memphis, to the pinnacle of International Mixed Martial Arts, the Pride Fighting Championships. He has risen above the allure of fast cash and high risk endeavors of street life to become one of the most successful athletes in the highly disciplined world of MMA. Quinton recently spoke with MMAWeekly about his future and his past.
“I fight for a living. That’s my job. Don’t forget I used to be homeless. Remember? I’m from the streets…I’ve been homeless a few times. I’ve been homeless since I was fourteen. My momma decided that she couldn’t handle me anymore, so she booted me out of the house. She had five, four other kids. She couldn’t really afford me anyway…I was fourteen at first when she booted me out. I went and was living with my cousin. That’s the one that named me Rampage when I was eight years old. My cousin No Touch. He came out and visited me one time, and he did a fight. He got tapped out in fourteen seconds. [laughs] He fought on the street his whole life. He thought that what I do is a joke. He thought oh I don’t have to train to go out there. I’m a fighter. You know? And Brady went out there and tapped him out in fourteen seconds. I just had to put that out there because I love him.” Jackson told MMAWeekly.
He continued, “My momma put me out and I was on the street thing with him…I used to beat up a lot of bullies. I used to hate bullies, man. A lot of my friends was little, and they knew that I could fight. If people picked on them, I could go whoop up on them. My little brother, he was one of those brothers that would say, ‘yeah, my brother can beat you up’, so he would go do whatever he want. So I had to go beat up the people that beat up my brother, and came back and beat up my little brother for having me beat up those people that he had me beat up, so that’s what my job was. That’s why when I got up to Pride and stuff all those guys got a lot more years experience than me as professional fighters, but I’ve been fighting on the streets all my life. It’s like second nature to me. You know what I’m saying?”
Quinton added, “God told me he trained me for this moment, for this sport. He trained me. That’s why I know it’s my destiny to come back and do better. When I first started fighting in Pride, I moved out to California on my own. I could have stayed back at home and worked with my family. My uncles and stuff own a construction company, so I could have been a construction worker. I wouldn’t be making much money, but I move out to California. Sacrificed. Left my family and everything, and it was hard for me to get a job. When I first started fighting in Pride, I was living in a RV by the beach.”
Since then no one can accuse Quinton “Rampage” Jackson of not fighting the top competition. Over the last year he’s faced Ricardo Arona, Wanderlei Silva, Murilo “Ninja” Rua, and his brother Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. In that order. He holds wins over the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, over Igor Vovchanchyn, Murilo Bustamante, Arona, and “Ninja” Rua, but has lost two out of his last three bouts.
Losing twice to Wanderlei Silva, having a tough time with Ricardo Arona, narrowly defeating Murilo “Ninja” Rua, and losing to “Shogun,” Quinton remains confident in his ability to beat any one of them. “I know I can beat those guys. That’s the thing that’s eating me up a live. When you fight, and you know you can beat them. I look at myself in the mirror and I think about my losses. That’s what you remember most are your loses, and I know I can beat these guys. I know I can. There’s no doubt in my mind.” Stated Jackson.
Right now Quinton isn’t under contract with anyone. He’s a free agent. “I’m a free agent…The grand prix was my last fight. My manager says I’ve got to wait five months before I can negotiate with anybody, but I’m a free agent. I’m doing my thing. Chuck [Liddell] is my inspiration right now because Chuck went down through a slump like me. I’m in a little slump right now, but he came out of it, and he’s OK. Now he’s champion. You know what I’m saying? Chuck is my inspiration. I look up to Chuck. I look up to Randy too, and Randy was a fine champion.” Commented Jackson
The biggest obstacle he must overcome is the lack of dedicated training partners. “Every since Team Punishment broke up I kind of lost a lot of training partners and stuff like that, so hopefully I can get some good sparring partners, and can get a bunch of good guys my size to train with. That’s what I’m going to have to do now. I’m going to have to get some good training people. I’m going to have to go out and train with people. I’m going to visit Twinkle Toes, do some wrestling up there, and go different places because I know one person don’t know everything.” Jackson stated.
Quinton further commented, “My coach is a good coach man. Coach is a real good coach, but he has a lot of things going on. He produces a show, and a gym, and there are a lot of guys, and a lot of times it gets watered down. My coach don’t have time to push us as hard. My coach used to train us real hard man back in the day when I was vicious. My coach was training us real hard. A lot of people don’t see it. I think a lot of people see me and say I was born again and say awe his fights went down. He started losing fights, and then they go God is weak. Jesus is weak. They don’t know that’s my strength. It probably kept me doing half as good as I was doing because they don’t look at my training and see what my training is like. When I fought Arona, if you go back and check that fight, I was getting my butt kicked until I got that lucky slam. I’m the first one to admit it. That slam was very lucky. Arona was whooping up on me. One more leg kick and he probably would have seen the pain on my face and he probably would have rushed in on me. I don’t have that may training partners. I don’t have that many sparring partners, and I train with fights that don’t even fight on the King of the Cage level sometimes. You know what I’m saying?”
Jackson continued, “A lot of guys don’t come. That’s not their job. That’s not their love. They don’t have time. Sometimes they don’t come. I’ve got some good guys on my team, but they’re still kind of green right now, and a lot of them don’t come training all the time. A lot of times it will just be me and my coach.” “I don’t blame my coach, but it got watered down a lot. A lot of people got to messing around and it hurt his feelings. Him and Tito kind of fell out, and Tito was like a son to him. I stay out of their business. I’m kind of separated from all of it.”
In his journey from being homeless to one of the top ranked fighters in the world, Quinton Jackson finds himself at a crossroad with his training and future fighting path. He’s a free agent looking to make changes in his training. Ultimately the future will be what he makes it, but he feels fighting is his destiny.