Rampage Jackson flip flops on 2008 car crash story, resurrects saga of suicidal sidekick

Jon Kopaloff

Rampage has changed his story regarding his 2008 police chase incident, but that inconsistency may be less important than Jackson's history of refusing to take the blame for his mistakes.

If the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ever decides to make keeping it real an Olympic sport, Quinton Jackson would make an excellent candidate to represent the Red, White, and Blue.

Since rising to prominence on the U.S. mixed martial arts (MMA) scene nearly seven years ago with his UFC 71 victory over light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell on May 26, 2007, Rampage has never been one to censor himself.

Say he finds a female reporter attractive? Petty concerns like acting professional and respecting others aren't going to prevent Jackson from keeping it real with the unlucky lady in question. You see, he's an alpha, and when an alpha wants to motorboat or dry hump a woman, well, that's what's going to go down.

Ask the man a question about his former employers Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), past opponents like Jon Jones, or recent sponsors like Reebok and you're sure to get an unfiltered, and often highly invective reply.

However, it would be a mistake to conflate being 100% real at all times with being 100% honest.

Take for instance Rampage's July 15, 2008 arrest following a hit-and-run incident and subsequent refusal to pull over for Costa Mesa, California police. Leading police officers on a chase straight out of the Grand Theft Auto video games may be a realer way to spend a Tuesday afternoon than most of us could ever dream of -- but doing so while driving a monster truck with one's own picture painted on the side of it?

Now that, to borrow a catchphrase phrase UFC has long since discarded, is as real as it gets.

After the arrest, Rampage offered a fairly reasonable explanation though: You see he had been up for several days pounding energy drinks, during which time God began speaking to him. The Almighty, or maybe just the Red Bulls, commanded the fighter to make haste -- traffic laws and innocent bystanders be damned -- to the side of a friend identified simply as "Brian," who had recently lost his religion and was therefore, for some inexplicable reason, in grave danger of dying an imminent death.

You know, standard stuff.

"I thought I heard the voice of God telling me to go save Brian," Jackson explained. "I felt if I didn't get to Brian, he would die."

Jackson later admitted to the Orange County Register that this Brian fella's problems were all a figment of the fighter's own sleep deprived, caffeine saturated brain.

"What was I thinking," Jackson said to the California newspaper back in 2008, "I know now that Brian was never in danger. But I really thought at the time that he was about to die."

Rampage beat the rap stemming from the incident, thanks in part for UFC President Dana White going to bat for him, and was able to plea bargain down to a sentence of three years' probation.

And that would have been where the story faded away, were it not for Jackson bringing it up again recently and telling a decidedly different tale.

Jackson, who meets Christian M'Pumbu in the opening round of Bellator's season 10 light heavyweight tournament on Feb. 28, recently told MMAJunkie the reason he didn't stop for the police way back when was because his buddy Brian was on the verge of potential death.

"All I was doing was getting to my friend because he really needed me," said Rampage. "My friend was going to commit suicide."

So, which was it?

Was Rampage really rushing to the side of a friend in need when he drove down Costa' Mesa's Newport Boulevard with all the forbearance of Gravedigger bearing down on a row of junkers on that fateful day back in 2008, or was he just hopped up on too many complimentary cans of Xyience?

Truthfully, it probably doesn't matter why Jackson did what he did that day. After all, as we've seen time and again, it's highly unlikely Rampage will assume full responsibility for his actions anytime soon.

Instead, he'll likely do what he always does: place the locus of blame for his shortcomings elsewhere while attempting to paint himself as a free-spirited entertainer who keeps it real.

It's a pattern we've seen from Rampage time and again:

Bullying former US Army Air Defense Artillery specialist and Ultimate Fighter contestant Darill Schoonover by giving him the humiliating nickname "titties" in front of millions of television viewers back when Jackson served as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 10?

Hey, Rampage was just clowning around and having a good time.

His loss to Rashad Evans? Chalk that one up to Evans' then-coach Greg Jackson formulating a "boring" game plan rather than Jackson's inability to deal with said plan.

Losing a decision to Ryan Bader in Japan? Well, these things happen when you come into a fight with a bum knee thanks to a late night impromptu wrestling match in a Japanese hotel room.

It would be nice to think Rampage would grow out of inability to accept responsibility for his actions, but judging by his recent take on his 2008 car chase, it appears he still finds it necessary to make excuses for his public blunders.

In the interest of keeping it real, however, it might behoove Rampage to ask himself who is actually responsible for his numerous mistakes over the years?

Then again, it's possible Rampage wouldn't be comfortable with the answers he got if he started keeping it real with the man in the mirror.

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