After stating that he believes UFC matchmaker Joe Silva should be "shot in the face" for what he believed to be an inferior job of putting bouts together between himself and "boring fighters," it was clear that the relationship was beyond repair.
"'Rampage" has one fight left on his contract with the UFC, which many believed would be against "Shogun" Mauricio Rua. Unfortunately, that match up never came to fruition because of knee surgery for Jackson that will keep him out of action for a while.
After that? He's told HDNet's "Inside MMA" he's done with the UFC for good:
"After I leave the UFC, I'm done with them! Just like when I left PRIDE. You remember when I left PRIDE? It's over. I was very loyal to PRIDE. I fought for PRIDE, and I fought the way I fought to put butts in seats. I took risks, slammed people and stuff like that. PRIDE did a good job. They built me up. I wasn't that good when I first came out. I fought Sakuraba and they built me up and then threw me in some tough fights. That's the way you're supposed to do it. Now, the UFC, I was a better fighter when I came there. My second fight, they throw me to Chuck Liddell. The fans didn't know who I was. I knocked him out, the fans booed me. That changed me, who I am towards the fans. I used to be the nicest guy towards fans. My first time getting booed. How are you gonna boo somebody for knocking somebody out? But I got a whole other opinion on that. And now, the UFC's just throwing me all these boring fighters, these game planners, these wrestlers. I'm the type of fighter who you should match up with people who want to fight excitingly. You know what I'm saying? Cuz I'm gonna be the type of fighter who puts butts in seats."
In the meantime, Jackson is contractually bound to the UFC and cannot even consider other organizations. He made it clear that he's in no hurry to step back into the cage, as he feels he really needs to take his time and make sure his knees are 100 percent:
"I can't even negotiate with anybody. I'm not even negotiating with anybody right now. I got one fight with the UFC. After I do that fight with the UFC, then I can negotiate and figure out what I'm gonna do next. I got so much other stuff going on, I could take a year off from fighting, and I don't even care. There's other things I wanna do. I'm more than a fighter. I'm an entertainer. I like entertaining people. I like making people laugh, I like entertaining people. I like fighting. I like beating people up. But, I still gotta heal up. I'm not jumping right back into fighting, right away. I got my knees to worry about. I've been fighting injured for a while."
Jackson further elaborated on his injury, stating that these knee problems are nothing new. In fact, he's dealt with them his whole career:
"I might as well say it now. It's something that I've never told anybody. I came into MMA injured. I got injured really bad in college. I went and got surgery and let it heal up naturally, so I've been babying my knee all these years. So, now, when I fought Rashad (Evans) the first time and got injured pretty bad, and after that, I've just been babying it and babying it. It was just a matter of time before I was gonna need surgery on it, before I got injured really bad. In this last fight with (Ryan) Bader, like, a month before the fight, I think one of my ligaments kinda tore a little bit. I was like, 'You know what? I'm still gonna fight because it's Japan. And then, after my fight, I'm gonna get it fixed. I'm not gonna injure it again.'"
In his downtime, "Rampage" now has ample opportunity to be a fan and just observe the sport. Though he does have the time, he says the UFC's busy schedule is just too much for him to keep up with:
"Yeah, I got one fight left on my contract. I'll watch the UFC. Some of my friends fight there, but there's too many fights for me to keep up. I don't even know who's fighting next. There's too many fights for me to keep up with. They always get new fights coming up. I think it's too much MMA, actually. I liked it better, back in the day, when you wanted it and couldn't wait to see it. Now, it's everywhere! They got The Ultimate Fighter and all this stuff. I can't keep up."
"Rampage" wasn't done aiming shots at people. When asked who he'd like to fight in his final Octagon appearance, he had some names in mind, but he was even more vocal about the fighters (or types of fighters) who he doesn't want to fight in his send-off:
"I would love to fight somebody like Shogun. Somebody like Forrest. Somebody who beat me before. Somebody who wants to put on a good fight. I'm tired of fighting these guys who are cowards. I call them cowards. They just run around the cage, they game plan and they take you down. It's okay to take people down, but they just hump you and lay down on top of you the whole time. That's what's disgusting to me."
Do you Maniacs think we'll ever even see "Rampage" fight in the UFC again? If so, who would you most like to see him fight as he bids us all farewell?