- RAMPAGE TELLS ALL ABOUT PRIDE, UFC, AND WFA

May 17, 2006
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MMAWeekly Radio – Transcribed by Jeff Cain
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson spoke exclusively to MMAWeekly Radio in his first interview since he officially signed the fight agreement to face Matt “The Law” Lindland in the World Fighting Alliance (WFA).

In this interview, Rampage discusses his breaking point with Pride, why he thinks the UFC didn’t really want him, and his upcoming WFA match-up with Matt Lindland. MMAWeekly Radio’s Ryan Bennett and Frank Trigg asked the questions, while Jackson answered the questions candidly.

MMAWeekly: Rampage, congratulations. We saw you on King of Queens with you and Frank Trigg beating up people. You looked good.

Quinton Jackson: I had a lot of fun with that. I forgot all about that. I didn’t get to see it.

MMAWeekly: So, you signed a big deal. You’re facing, of course, Matt Lindland. Tell me your thoughts on facing Matt. What do you like about it? What are you nervous about?

Jackson: I’m going to break “The Law.” That’s all I’ve got to say. I’m going to break “The Law.”

MMAWeekly: Quinton, let me ask you about this fight. I think this is a dangerous fight for you, and I’ll tell you why.

Jackson: Why?

MMAWeekly: I think Matt has better wrestling than you. I think you’re more powerful than he is, but I think you’re going to have a tough time in this fight because of his Grecco Roman background. Why take this fight?

Jackson: Because I’m getting paid the big bucks. It doesn’t matter who I fight anymore. It don’t matter. I want to fight the best, and I want to prove to the world that I am the best. This is a dangerous fight. He’s an Olympic Silver Medalist, but you know what I’m saying? I love danger.

MMAWeekly: Take me through this WFA process, because a lot of people thought you were going to re-sign with Pride. How did you go from Pride to the WFA? How did that all transpire?

Jackson: It’s easy. The WFA offered me way more money than Pride.

MMAWeekly: Really?

Jackson: Yeah, really.

MMAWeekly: Way more money?

Jackson: Pride is a good organization. They’ve got some of the best fighters in the world, but I feel like they didn’t promote me like I wanted to be promoted. Some of their employees treated me like dirt. I feel like if I’m going to be treated like dirt, I might as well get treated like dirt on my own dirt. That’s not the case with the WFA… from what I heard with the meetings, they plan on treating me very well. They promote me. They already got the ad campaign with my picture on it. They’re putting it on billboards. They’re talking about doing some big things, and that’s what going to better set up my career in the future because you saw me on King of Queens… I like that acting stuff. It’s easy. I plan on doing that after my fighting career is over… but I don’t think I could have a good fan base fighting over in Japan with them promoting all of their Japanese fighters, fighters like [Hidehiko] Yoshida and whatever that dude’s name is. The dude that [is like], “I’m a chicken who fights for a boring fight.” When I go down, and win or lose, my fights are the most exciting fights you’ll ever want to see. You know what I’m saying? Even though they’re Japanese, they’re cool and everything, but we have people buying the DVDs later watching the exciting fights, and I think I should be paid for putting my life out there on the line.

MMAWeekly/Frank Trigg: You said that they didn’t want to pay you that much money and they treated you like dirt, but do you see this as a problem? You were so big in Japan, but don’t have that many new fans here in the States. Do you see this as being a hurdle for you in your first couple of fights with the WFA?

Jackson: No, because right now anyways, the main fans don’t know who is and who is not. They watch all these fighters come off of TV shows. They don’t know most of those guys suck. It’s good. I’m glad they’re doing things and making money, but man, most of those guys couldn’t even last in a cage with anybody. They’re fighting each other. Look, Forrest [Griffin], with no disrespect, but he fought Tito [Ortiz] when [Ortiz] was injured. You know what I’m saying? I would gain new fans if fans recognize my excitement level, and when I woo them with the way I am, they’ll be on Rampage’s fan train. If not, so what? I don’t care. I’m making money. Cha-ching!

MMAWeekly: Quinton, you talked about the WFA offering you more money than you made in Pride… are we talking significant? Are we talking 50,000 more… 100,000 more? What kind of pay increase did you receive from the WFA compared to Pride?

Jackson: I received a lot more because they gave me more money up-front. They gave me a signing bonus, and they gave me a part of pay-per-view. Cha-ching! And I’m not in any danger of getting the yellow card. The yellow card will take away money. This is worth a lot more money. I’m losing 70,000 dollars a year of tax benefit, but I’ll make it back up by not receiving yellow cards and pay-per-view money.

MMAWeekly: How much money did you lose on yellow cards alone?

Jackson: Add it all up, I probably lost over 60 to 70 thousand dollars. I’m thinking you can round it off close to 100 grand on yellow cards.

MMAWeekly: One-hundred grand on yellow cards? Wow.

Jackson. Yeah. I’m trying to tell you… and when me and Wanderlei [Silva] fought the last time, that was fight of the year. How are you going to yellow card the fight of the year? How are you going to treat people that way? You know what I’m saying?

MMAWeekly: The thing about Quinton Jackson, the thing about you is I’ve never seen you in a boring fight, so I agree with you. It’s kind of hard to yellow card you when you haven’t been in a boring fight before.

Jackson: Exactly. That’s my style. I don’t stall. I very rarely do illegal stuff like Trigg. I like to get the job done, but I like the fight to be exciting.

MMAWeekly: You mentioned the pay-per-view buys. Is there going to be pay-per-view for this first show? Are you going to be on TV? What’s the whole deal with that?

Jackson: Yeah, we’re going to be on pay-per-view. I think they’re going to try to get on TV or something like that…. my opinion is, the market is so flooded right now. You have these shows popping up, and this and that. You’ve got TV here and TV there. You’ve got Pride on TV, the IFL on TV, and the UFC is on TV. You know what I’m saying? I don’t know, but they haven’t really told me a whole lot yet. As everyone knows, I was in the dark. I wasn’t allowed to say anything, but I got tired of that quick. Everybody else knew, but I wasn’t allowed to say anything. They haven’t told me a whole lot yet. I wish they would tell me more, but I just know when the time comes, they’re going to tell me more, and I can tell all of you guys. As far as I know, we’re at the [Los Angeles] Forum, and it’s on pay-per-view live. That’s all I know.

MMAWeekly: With this whole free agent process, how close were you to signing with other organizations? We talked about Pride already, but how close were you with the UFC, the IFL, and the other organizations?

Jackson: First of all, I didn’t really know anything about the IFL when I was a free agent. I like the IFL. They’re doing some pretty good things. They’re talking about letting me be a coach. Jeremy Lappen is a very smart guy, and he don’t mind me being a coach at the IFL. I think that will be very good for the sport… but the UFC didn’t really contact me. They said they contacted Jeremy, who is my manager, but I don’t know. They didn’t contact me at all, so I wasn’t close at all with signing for the UFC. I think the UFC, they want people to believe that they wanted to sign me, but come on, man. It’s all due to a conflict. Let’s be real. Chuck [Liddell] and Dana White are boys, right?

MMAWeekly: Absolutely.

Jackson: Come on, man. Everybody knows they’re boys. Why would Dana White want me to come and whoop up on his boy? Why would they want that? They want to keep promoting his boy, which is cool. You know? That’s loyalty right there. I ain’t hating at all. No one has really offered me what the WFA offered me… like Pride, I don’t understand the way they do things. They kind of, my last fight… not to bring up this small stuff, but it’s kind of big to me, and it really had an effect on me re-signing with them. I put out my own T-shirts and sell my own T-shirts, and they tried to rip me off on my T-shirts. I don’t know who was in the company that did it, but it’s like [they thought] I’m stupid or something. They sold like three thousand dollars worth of T-shirts, and they didn’t pay me a dime for them. So I said, “You know what? Keep that three grand, and I’m not signing with you.” That is what kept me from signing with Pride. That was the main thing… that’s one of the main things. I’ve been having problems with some of Pride’s staff since my first fight… Pride is a good organization, but they’ve got two people working for them that they need to get out. I think they’re trying to sabotage the whole Pride. That’s what I think. That’s my opinion, because they can’t be that dumb. If I was one of the most exciting American fighters, why not promote me in America? Why not?

MMAWeekly: I agree.

Jackson: They told me if I want to go on The Best Damn Sports Show that I have to be too… I didn’t get along with it… they told me I had to go kiss their ass to get on this Best Damn Sports Show.

MMAWeekly: What?

Jackson: I was like, “That’s not the way the American people do business, so I’d rather not be on The Best Damn Sports Show.”

MMAWeekly/Trigg: My only thing is… now, mind you, I was supposed to have a fourth and fifth fight with the WFA, which is why I’m very nervous for this fight. This thing could quite easily not go off. It’s not on the schedule with the California State Athletic Commission. It’s not on the schedule still, so what is happening is they’re making these announcements about these fights and they may or may not happen yet because it’s got to go through the commission. Rampage, is the contract guaranteed [so] if the fight doesn’t happen, you still get paid?

Jackson: Yeah, I still get paid. Cha-ching! It doesn’t matter.

MMAWeekly: July 22nd, you’re going to get paid, no matter what? Even if they don’t do a show?

Jackson: I get paid, no matter what.

MMAWeekly: Considering you’ve fought both of these guys, who do you think would win a Chuck Liddell and “Shogun” Rua fight?

Jackson: Your guess is as good as mine.

MMAWeekly: Who is the toughest guy you’ve fought, period?

Jackson: The toughest guy I’ve fought is I guess Wanderlei because he kicked my butt twice, but he had a lot of help. You know what I’m saying? When I fought Wanderlei, I was fighting him, the referee, and his corner man. I guess he’s the toughest guy I’ve fought.

MMAWeekly: In your fight with Lindland, do you want to slam him? Do you want to strike with him? What do you want to do?

Jackson: Lindland don’t look too good on his back. I know he can be taken down. He’s a Greco [Roman Wrestling] guy. Greco guys can be taken down just as easy as anybody else. I don’t do no Greco, but I know how to take folks down. He don’t look too good from his back. For me, I don’t care as long as I win. Standing up in the octagon isn’t like standing up in that ring. The octagon don’t give. The cage don’t give.

MMAWeekly: This fight is going to be in the cage?

Jackson: Yes, it’s going to be in the cage.

MMAWeekly: Are you excited to fight in a cage?

Jackson: Yes. People say I haven’t fought in a cage in a long time. It ain’t been a long time since I trained in a cage. I do mixed martial arts. Most people have cages at their gym. It don’t matter to me. I started off in the cage. I’ve fought in the street. I’ll fight anywhere. It don’t matter to me as long as I’m making money. Cha-ching!

MMAWeekly: Is the fight three five-minute rounds? How are they doing the rules in the WFA?

Jackson: I think it’s [three five-minute rounds]. I think it’s the same as the WFA used to be. You guys really don’t know much about me, do you? The bottom line is, I don’t care what the rules are. I don’t care what the time limit is. I don’t care who my opponent is. I don’t care who the referee is. I don’t care who is cornering my [opponent], and I don’t care how much money he’s making. I don’t even give a damn. I’m ready to go! I don’t care. I don’t care what he is. I’m going to break “The Law.” I’m going to go out there and put my heart on the line, do my bit, and excite the fans. If I lose, so be it. If I win, I’m the man. I got paid.

MMAWeekly: When did you start training for Lindland? How long have you known, and when did you start training?

Jackson: I just started training last week. I like to peak when I train, so I just started training. I didn’t know for sure until I signed the bout agreement. There had been talk about it, but they didn’t know. When I signed that bout agreement, that’s when I knew who I was fighting.

MMAWeekly: So, two months out is basically what you do training-wise?

Jackson: Normally, I train year-round anyway… training year-round, getting better and better. I helped Josh Barnett train for his fight with Alexander Emelianenko. I was a beat-up dummy.

MMAWeekly: Really?

Jackson: Yeah. Now I’ve just been doing a little bit… and doing a little bit of running, and trying to get into shape slow, so [four weeks before my fight] I can go balls to the wall. I’ll pick it up and go real hard four weeks out.

MMAWeekly: Always good to talk to you, my friend. We’re excited about your upcoming fight. We will be there, for sure, on July 22nd to check that out, and we wish you nothing but the best. Who will you be training with for this fight with Lindland?

Jackson: None of your business! Naw, I got a real good boxing trainer… he’s got some people lined up , and I’m going to order some Greco guys up there. They’ll come in at night. I’m getting me some good boxing guys… some southpaws and all that stuff, and I’m also getting that guy from the movie “There’s Something About Mary.” I’m training with that guy, too… just moving around and stuff like that… I’m going to break “The Law.”

MMAWeekly: I’m looking forward to the fight. It’s going to be fun to watch. I’ll talk to you soon, my friend.

Jackson: Take care.

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