It appears that the rumors are true and MMA fans can kiss goodbye to a grudge-match between former UFC light heavyweight champs Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans. According to Rashad, Rampage’s newly-inked role to play B.A Baracus on the movie remake of “The A-Team” will conflict with their proposed December 12th scrap.
“It’s definitely off for the 12th,” Evans said today on the Sherdog Radio Network. “It’s just disappointing because as a fighter you get your mind wrapped around when you’re going to have to fight. Then you kind of just gear up toward it and put everything in place for that time. You take care of a lot of things you need to take care of so when you’re in camp you don’t have to worry about it. To find out it’s not going to be happening when you want it to happen is always a little bit of a letdown.”
The two finished wrapping the 10th season of the hit reality show, “The Ultimate Fighter,” just a little while back and were both looking forward to the opportunity of smashing each others grill’s in.
“I heard a little bit about it at the last UFC, 102, and (UFC president) Dana (White) said he was working to resolve the issue, and he was pretty confident that he was going to have some kind of resolution by the end of the week,” Evans said. “But then things must have took a turn for the worse and it wasn’t going to be resolved. The end result was [Rampage] definitely pulling out.”
Once word hit the street that Rampage was up for the movie gig, it sent all parties interested into a panic. Sure having the controversial fighter play a significant role in a major box office movie would be great exposure for the sport of mixed martial arts, but what about the sport itself?
Fans have been waiting too long for this tango, and with the debut of “TUF10” scheduled for next Wednesday after “UFC Fight Night 19” on Spike TV, this news certainly puts a damper on things.
White’s uneasiness with the situation was apparent at the UFC 102 post-fight presser, and Evans mirrored those sentiments as he expressed the importance of dancing with the chick you brought to the prom.
“I would stick with my obligations to do the fight (if I was in the same situation),” said Evans. “I know that he has an amazing opportunity to do this acting role, but then at the same time, at the end of the day he’s still going to be just a fighter. He’s not going to be an actor.”
Although the fight might be off for now, Rashad is confident that they will be able to re-schedule, assuming Rampage is able to pencil him into his Hollywood schedule.
“I’m pretty positive that it’s going to be my next fight,” Evans said. “They haven’t nailed down any dates, but they did say it was going to be after the New Year. I think they were waiting to speak with Quinton’s guys and find out exactly when exactly he feels he should be ready. They just want to get it done and over with, and they’re just trying to work with him and see what they can do.”
UFC 107 was rumored to be hosted in Memphis, Tennessee – Rampage’s hometown. However, with the main reason for debuting in the state exiting stage-left, it is likely the organization will opt to relocate the show.