That's because "Rampage" has earned a second-lease on his fighting career thanks to the wonder of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), a treatment he began prior to his UFC 144 fight against Ryan Bader last month in Japan.
Despite coming in overweight and losing to "Darth" via unanimous decision, Jackson expects to get back into action in late 2012 or early 2013 following surgery on his injured knees. His first (and last fight) upon his return is expected to be opposite Mauricio Rua.
The TRT isn't being administered as a competitive advantage, according to the Memphis native, rather to help reverse a "medical condition" on the advice of his physician. And Jackson (via Sherdog's "Savage Dog Show") has a little message in response to the "slave mentality" from the people getting mad at him.
Those comments after the jump.
"If I was losing my hair and the doctor told me, ‘You need a hair transplant,’ I’m going to do a hair transplant. If I get my tooth knocked out like Randy Couture did against [Lyoto] Machida, I’m going to get a new tooth put in my mouth. If my testosterone gets low and the doctor tells me, ‘You need to raise your levels back up to where you used to be when you were 25,’ and you’re fighting these young folks, I’m going to go do it. I feel like it’s a medical condition. I have to say this. I have to say this and maybe some people will get mad, but I feel like whoever’s getting mad at me for healing myself up, [there’s] an old saying, a slave mentality, like, ‘Oh, how dare you make yourself 100 percent to be fighting out there.’ That’s what comes to my mind."
Aside from the TRT haters, Jackson has recently been butting heads with his employers at ZUFFA, demanding his release from the promotion and claiming UFC matchmaker Joe Silva should be "shot in the face" for the manner in which he's gone about booking "Rampage's" career.
Having had enough of the drama and likely feeling as though he's no longer worth the headache, the UFC announced Jackson would fight "Shogun," thus fulfilling the final fight on his contract. After that, he's free to go wherever he pleases.
And take his TRT with him.
Anyone think a revitalized "Rampage" sticks around for a few more years? Or do you truly believe he's one and done after rematching Rua? Perhaps if Jackson can avenge his loss to the Brazilian, which he suffered at PRIDE Total Elimination 2005, he'll feel motivated to keep on going.
Time will tell.