If you’re able to look beyond his beefy bravado, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has compiled a resume most mixed martial artists would die to have their name written on. After laying an absolute egg in his heavily hyped showdown with Rashad Evans at UFC 114, Rampage has finally put all of his Hollywood distractions behind him and is ready to return to his championship ways.
Prior to posting the uneventful unanimous decision loss to his bitter rival, the 32-year-old was helping promote his upcoming “The A-Team” movie. Although Jackson was fulfilling a childhood dream by portraying B.A. Baracus, it cost him dearly in a critical light heavyweight top contender contest.
“How could it not affect you traveling that much and doing all the stuff he had to do for that movie?” UFC president Dana White asked MMAjunkie.com. “Doing this stuff is hard. You train for the fight, then you have to go out and do the media, answer the same questions over and over and over again.
“A movie is 10 times that. He had to travel all over the world promoting that movie.”
Although Rampage made a quick paycheck and enjoyed unprecedented exposure filming the flick, White claims the Octagon is where the heart is. Jackson’s next payday comes Saturday at UFC 123 against Lyoto Machida.
“The reality is, this is where he makes his money,” White said of his former champ. “The money isn’t in the movie business unless you’re (George) Clooney. I think he’s taking it serious.
“I saw him backstage. He didn’t really talk. He seems pretty focused to me. He looked good. The weigh-ins are [later today], but he looks lean. He looks like he’s in great shape.”
Not too many moons ago, Rampage was sitting atop the UFC’s sexiest division. If he’s truly rededicated himself to the sport that started it all for him, White claims the division may be in deep trouble.
“He can knock you out with either hand,” White emphatically stated. “His takedowns are great. He can ground and pound you.
“As long as he’s focused on fighting and in his training camp doing what he needs to do, Rampage is nasty.”