Matt Hamill had better be careful next Saturday, May 28, 2011 at UFC 130 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That's because it looks like he's awakened the beast.
Ignore everything you've been hearing about Quinton Jackson's motivation heading into this fight. He had plenty to say about his incitement for his upcoming main event tilt against "The Hammer" during today's UFC 130 conference call.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion has his sights set on Matt Hamill ... and nothing else.
When asked about a potential shot at the title with a win, Jackson stated, "(the title) is the last thing on my mind." He also refused to give a comment on Georges St. Pierre's recent performance.
What set him off?
Apparently it was a quote from Hamill in a recent interview. "Rampage's" remarks should definitely be a cause of concern for the former national champion wrestler.
"I think Matt made a mistake when he said he was gonna break my will and I'm gonna overlook him. That lit a fire under my ass and made me train a little harder so I can break his will so I can make sure I outclass him. That's why I worked a lot on my wrestling and extra on my cardio and off my back in case he does take me down. I'll admit in the beginning I wasn't 100% motivated as I would be versus someone who had beat me before but when he said that it motivated me just as much as any other fight."
In preparation for Hamill's Olympic-caliber wrestling, Jackson has been putting extra time in the gym working on his takedown defense, cardio and even putting some time in off his back.
"I worked on my wrestling a lot for this fight. The thing about me is I work on my wrestling a lot anyways. I work on the same things every camp. When I get to the fight, it just depends what I feel like doing and how i feel like fighting. I really respect Hamill's wrestling and I feel he's a great wrestler. I'm a pretty decent MMA wrestler so I just wanted to pick those skills back up."
While weight has been an issue in the past, Jackson confessed that he's right on target for Hamill despite not having legendary trainer/weight cut extraordinaire Mike Dolce with him for his training camp.
"I'm actually doing great. I'm lighter at this point for my fight than I've been in a long time. Lance Gibson, Julia Budd and I'm actually stronger than I've been in a while."
The Memphis-raised fighter has no regrets about turning down a title shot with "Shogun" at UFC 128 due to not being in proper fight shape at the time. Even with hindsight 20/20, he feels he wouldn't have been himself in that fight.
"I'm a fighter. I've been fighting for a long time and I have common sense. I knew Shogun was going to have ring rust after taking a long time off due to injury but there's no way I could have took that fight in 4-5 week's notice especially with how much weight I gain in between fights. I wouldn't have been able to make weight so it would have been stupid for me to even try and do that.. The first time I fought Shogun, I was injured and I always thought that the second time I fight him, I want to be as close to 100% as possible. That's the main reason why I turned down that fight. I don't regret it at all. If I was psychic, I would have stayed training and stayed in shape in case someone got hurt but I didn't."
Jackson took some flak for saying he wasn't very excited about fighting Matt Hamill at first, and he responded with a major statement to both the fans and media alike.
"Some MMA fans, they don't understand. If they don't hear something they want to hear, they dump all over you. If they really get to know me, I'm not really excited about anybody I fight. It's my job, to me. It's my career. I don't get excited anymore. I've had almost 40 fights. I just go and do it and yes I want to do movies after I get done fighting. You can't fight 'til you're 60. If anybody's smart, they want to have an extra plan from MMA or any full contact sport. You can tell what fans are smart and what fans are kinda ignorant thinking you're just gonna fight and then be done. What's left after you're done fighting? What are you gonna do then? Just run away? I don't understand what they think. That stuff don't bother me at all what they say or what they think. It's my life, my family that I have to take care of and I have my goals and my plans that I want to do to make me happy. that's what I want to do in that respect. The fans, I want to entertain them but do I care about them like my family? Hell no."
News has also come out that "Rampage" plan on retiring from MMA before he turns 36 years old. He addressed the issue as well as discussing how his fighting style has changed over the years.
"I'm older now and I've had a lot of wars and I have bumps and bruises that bother me in training and now I really like boxing more. I like to try and knock people out. I started off as a wrestler but now I like to knock people out. My style has definitely has changed over the years ... I said that the day I started fighting that I didn't want to fight past 35 (years old). I said it years ago and I don't know why people are catching up to it now."
Even if our time with the Wolfslair fighter is limited, he wanted to make sure to let everyone know that he'll go down swinging.
"I want to be remembered as the most as one of the most exciting fighters. It's really important to me to put on a good show."
So do you believe Jackson that he's as motivated for this fight as any other in his career? He'll definitely have to back it up in the cage on May 28 in Las Vegas.
Share your thoughts, Maniacs!