After former UFC light heavyweight Quinton “Rampage” Jackson lost his title to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86 in July, his life seemed to spiral out of control. Just one week after the devastating loss, he lead Costa Mesa Police on a high-speed chase, hitting multiple vehicles along the way. Nobody could really know what to expect in his Octagon return, but Rampage showed that we need to expect the unexpected.
“I’d say that my (loss to Forrest Griffin) probably was the best thing that happened to me,” said Jackson. “I got rid of some old baggage and it actually made me hungrier, right? So, I started back. And, it just made me really think about my career. Like, look, I’m a professional fighter.”
One of the changes that Jackson made was parting ways with his long-time friend, trainer and spiritual mentor, Jaunito Ibarra. Rampage has since joined the up-and-coming Wolfslair camp in England, where they are not only helping him improve his overall MMA game, but to be a better professional in general.
“I’m a professional athlete. I’ve got to start eating like one,” Rampage said about his new lifestyle. “And, I never did that type of stuff. Not even for my whole career, not even protein shakes. I’ve got a good nutritionist and good people behind me and telling me all the good things to do and stuff I’ve never done before. And, this has paid off. It’s showing in my work ethic and my training.”
Jackson is hoping that his new-found dedication will continue to pay dividens, as UFC president Dana White has stated that if Rampage is victorious this weekend at UFC 96 against Keith Jardine, he will get first crack at Rashad Evans’ title.