Following Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s abrupt retirement from mixed martial arts last evening, the MMA world has been put on hold awaiting UFC president Dana White’s response after the light heavyweight put him and his organization on blast. Well, today is White’s turn to talk and it isn’t as bad as many thought it would be.
“Believe me, if you think this is the first time I’ve dealt with people who think they want to become actors and that they’re going to make millions and millions of dollars off making movies and acting, ” White told the Carmichael Dave show on KHTK in Sacramento. “Because I got so pissed off about him pulling out of the fight against Rashad (Evans) he thinks I’m trying to ruin his movie career. I have nothing bad to say about Rampage. He’s a grown man.
“This guy decides that he wants to walk away from guaranteed, good money right now and money he will never have the opportunity to make for the rest of his life because he wants to go make movies. He’s a grown man. He can do whatever he wants to do. What I do with Rampage is I’ve talked to Rampage as a friend and tried to talk to him about making a bad decision. He doesn’t think it is. He thinks he’s going to have a movie career, but there’s so many fighters that I’ve met over the years that thought they were going to have movie careers.”
Rampage was slated to face fellow “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweight” coach Rashad Evans at UFC 107 this December, however was offered the opportunity to play B.A. Baracus in the movie remake of “The A-Team” and opted for the silver screen instead the Octagon, much to the dismay of his boss.
In Rampage’s rant yesterday, he mentioned countless times he was lied to, encouraged to take bouts on short turnaround time, and force-fed what to say in order to spin the fights in favor of the organization. Accusations that White vehemently denies.
“I didn’t say anything other than I thought it was a bad idea because I do think it’s a bad idea,” White said of the situation. “That’s not true about Rashad. I offered him the Rashad fight and yes, I talked him into the Rashad fight the first time. Then I tried to get Rashad and Rashad turned the fight down so that’s when I made the Keith Jardine fight. That’s what I do. I call these guys and offer them fights.”
It appears that White has already moved on and is content with leaving things with Rampage the way they stand now. Let’s not forget, these two have been rather chummy since White acquired his rights from the WFA three years ago. So he would like to wish his one-time homie well, however couldn’t help but throwing in one final jab in closing.
“Rampage is a grown man. He’s acting like a baby right now, but he’s a grown man,” White stated of his former employee. “He wants to be in the movie business. Rampage, good luck to you man. I hope he makes it big and I’m not being sarcastic because Rampage Jackson is a guy that I actually do like and Rampage Jackson is a guy that I know doesn’t always make the best decisions. I hope the movie thing works out for him. If that’s what he really, truly wants to do and that’s what he feels and that’s what he thinks his career is, than I wish him all the luck in the world. I do like Rampage. I have no ill-will towards him whatsoever.”