After a much-publicized love-hate relationship with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), former light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson was set to give his last performance inside the Octagon at UFC 153, taking on Glover Teixeira in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Oct. 13, 2012, before he rode off into the sunset to pursue other endeavors, including fighting for other mixed martial arts (MMA) organizations.
However, an unfortunate elbow injury forced the former 205-pound kingpin off his co-main event fight against the Brazilian and back to the rehab process, delaying his inevitable swan song.
After going into his last bout against Ryan Bader at UFC 144 on Feb. 26, 2012, with an injury that prevented him from cutting the rest of the weight needed to hit the 205-pound mark, "Rampage" declared he would not head into another fight injured, seeing as how he went on to lose the fight against "Darth" via unanimous decision.
With one fight still remaining on his contract, Jackson still plans on seeing it through, according to recent remarks on "The MMA Hour." He also touched on plenty of other topics such as his beef with the UFC, losing passion for the sport of MMA, and giving his thoughts on current 205-pound champion, Jon Jones, whom he says he can beat even though he came up short in his bid to dethrone the young champion back at UFC 135.
Check it out:
"You know, in my last fight, I fought injured and had all those problems behind that. I said, I'm not going to risk that again. I said, I'll just pull out of this fight and come back strong. I want my next fight to be as close to 100 percent as possible and show the world what I can do. I just regret losing to a person like Ryan Bader. He sucks. He sucks. I'll say it to his face. He sucks. He talked all that trash on how he was going to knock me out. Obviously he knew I was injured because I didn't make weight. I talked to him man to man and said, 'Look, lets make it an exciting fight.' I knew there was a chance I was going to lose, but I don't want to lose a boring fight in Japan. He made the fight really boring. I got no respect for a guy like that. He sucks."
"Rampage" then discussed losing passion for the sport:
"I lost my love when I lost that Forrest fight. I know that I won that fight. Honestly, I wanted to cry racist stuff. I did want to do that. Us black folks, we're good at that. I know I took the fight lightly. I was like, 'Oh, Forrest.' I didn't train my hardest, I was coming off that Dan Henderson fight and I had just a little injury on my knuckle so I didn't keep up training. It was like, 'Oh Forrest, I'll just knock this guy out. After the fact, I didn't react the way people thought I would. I accepted the defeat. I knew that I won the fight, but said, 'he kicked my butt.' I held my head up high, and I walked out because I didn't want to act the fool. People don't know that when I went back home to Memphis,I'm from the south, a lot of white people were coming up to me saying derogatory stuff. There was some racist shit they were saying. It shows your true colors."
After his final fight with the UFC, Jackson says he will have no issues fighting a promotion that will pay him what he feels he deserves:
"Me being a free agent is looking very promising right now. I'm not in a rush. I'm not saying the UFC paid me like a slouch. Honestly the UFC pays me pretty good, I have to admit. I'm not a greedy person. I'm happy with it but like I was saying, it's not worth it for the stuff I have to go through with privacy issues. I'm still going to have that elsewhere, but elsewhere is offering me more money."
The former 205-pound champion also gave his thoughts on this past weekend's (Sept. 22, 2012) title fight UFC 152 between current champion Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort. Jackson talks about the lack of "honor" Jones showed in the bout against Belfort, by kicking him repeatedly in the knees, a move that is not illegal in MMA:
"Vitor took the fight on short notice, and this is how you respect him, by kicking his knee backwards and stuff like that? He's supposed to be a man of God. You can injure somebody, you can sever their career. You can mess people up for life kicking their knee back like that and he does it repeatedly, over and over. To me that has no honor. I take a lot of honor in fighting. He has no honor. He's fake. I don't agree with his fighting style. I think I coan beat Jon Jones. I know I can beat him. Jon Jones is the type of guy you have to fight twice."
Jackson also talked about his current relationship with UFC president, Dana White:
"Dana's a cool guy, I'm telling you, but he's looking out for his brand but what I think they don't understand is that I'm looking out for my brand. After I retire, the UFC is still going to be there. The UFC is going to make money and the UFC will still be going strong after I retire, but after I retire, I have to find other ways to make money. I have to find other ways to put my kids through school, put my son through private school. I have to find other ways to make it rain in the club, but UFC's still going to be going strong."
No word on when "Rampage" will return to action, but if his impromptu squabble with Matt Mitrione during the interview, who called into the show to challenge Jackson, is any indication, we could possibly see the 205-pound fighter mixing it up with a heavyweight in his next and final time out in the UFC.
Jackson is so confident in his chances in a fight against "Meathead," he even offered to make it a 'winner take all' fight in which the victor takes both purses plus the sponsorship earnings for the fight.
Though Mitrione was eager to challenge Jackson, he wasn't so quick to accept the stipulations set forth.
Joe Silva, it's your move.