To put it mildly, UFC president Dana White is not a fan of his fighters doing movies. That is, if the movies get in the way of the UFC calendar.
“I hate it with a (expletive) passion,” he said. “You’re a fighter. You’re not a movie star. It’s so (expletive) funny because fighters want to be movie stars and movie stars want to act like they’re fighters. It’s like, get a grip. You’re a (expletive) fighter and you’re a movie star.”
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson made headlines Wednesday when a report in UK tabloid The Sun said the former light heavyweight champion was set to take on the role of “B.A. Baracus” in an upcoming movie remake of television series “The A-Team.”
A subsequent report from MTV.com Thursday morning disputed the report, citing Jackson’s managers, who said Jackson had not booked the role.
White had not heard the latest reports when he spoke to reporters at the UFC 102 pre-fight press conference in Portland, Ore., Thursday afternoon, but he didn’t like the idea of Jackson’s silver screen dreams, mildly put.
“Rampage wants to be a movie star,” continued White. “I hope it’s not true (about Jackson getting the role). He’s up for it, and he talked to me, he wants to do this thing, and he’s like, ‘listen, man, this is really important to me…there’s some sentimental value here for me, me and my Dad grew up watching The A-Team together and we loved it.’
“Well, guess what, brother? I said, ‘guess what Rashad Evans is thinking about right now. He’s thinking about beating your (expletive) ass. He’s not sitting around thinking about him and his mom used to watch the (expletive) ‘Love Boat’ together, and he wants to get the role of ‘Isaac the Bartender’…you know what I mean? Get a (expletive) grip, dude. You’re going to make a lot of money. You ain’t gonna make a lot of money playing B.A. Baracus on the A-Team. Jesus Christ. (Expletive) drives me (expletive) nuts.”
White said sometime actor and five-time UFC champ Randy Couture was an exception.
“Randy did it right,” said White. “Randy shot a movie and it didn’t interfere with his training or anything.”
Heath Herring recently told MMA Insider that he was putting off fighting until 2010 to pursue several film projects. Strikeforce middleweight champ Cung Le is currently MIA with several studio projects in the can and more in the pipeline. Chuck Liddell is about to dance with the stars.
According to White, a fighter who fulfills his contract obligations is free to act. That, or a retired fighter. But act on the eve of a fight? Not cool.
“(Rashad) hates (Rampage),” White said. “He hates Rampage more than he hates anyone on the planet and he’s thinking about killing him.”
White sat back in his chair with a sigh.
“You guys wouldn’t want to be me if you’re if your life depended on it.”