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Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson targets December 2023 return against TUF nemesis

Jackson has a date, a promotion, and an opponent in mind for his mixed martial arts comeback.

MotoGp of Czech Republic - Race Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is still hoping to make a comeback in 2023 against a familiar name.

No, don’t expect another fight against Wanderlei Silva or Chuck Liddell, or something like a fight against Tito Ortiz. Nope. “Rampage” is still looking to settle the score with ... The Ultimate Fighter 10 contestant Darrill Schoonover.

Those who were around in 2009 watching TUF may remember Jackson relentlessly bullying Schoonover, nicknaming the heavyweight contestant “Titties.” Now Schoonover is Jackson’s ‘dream opponent’ for a comeback fight in December for the upstart UFL league.

“I’m thinking I might fight around about December in UFL,” Jackson said on The MMA Hour. “Because I haven’t fought in three years ... I don’t let stuff like that die. [Schoonover] tried to punk me. But Brendan Schaub said that he doesn’t think Darrill would be down to fight. My next fight, I don’t want to fight anybody that I like at all because I have to destroy them, whoever it is.”

If anyone was punking anyone, it was Jackson punking Schoonover. But we’d be down to see Schoonover potentially get some retribution. He already had his MMA redemption arc way back in 2012, beating Paul Buentello and then going on to win the Rogue Warrior Championships heavyweight title. He hasn’t fought since 2016, so “Rampage” may, uh, be a little slow on the draw for this fight idea.

Whoever Jackson faces, it’ll most likely be at heavyweight. The former light heavyweight champion is much larger than he was in his prime, but promised he’d be in fighting shape next time he competed. That’d be a change from the “Rampage” we saw fighting Fedor Emelianenko in 2019, who was overweight, under-motivated, and so slow “The Last Emperor” TKO’d him 2:44 into the first round without any trouble whatsoever.

“Come on, man, you saw my last fight,” Jackson said about his weight. “Man, I needed a drastic change. I was just getting tired of being fat. And I want to say something to everybody that’s out there listening: Bring back fat-shaming. America, we’ve gotten so soft. Like, a lot of MMA fans were commenting on my posts and talking s—. I guess they thought I was going to get butthurt or something? But no, they gave me a drive to get off of my ass and do something about it. I don’t consider it bullying, what people were saying to me online. It was motivation for me, and I did something about it.”

So what’s Quinton’s plans for his comeback run?

“So this is what I’m thinking: I really want to promote the UFL, and so I would like to do a warm-up fight there,” he said. “I’d do a warm-up fight in the UFL and see where that goes, and I still want to do a boxing match before I get too old. I’m 45 now, and I want to get that boxing match out of the way before I get too old.”

The fight that makes sense is Quinton Jackson vs. Shannon Briggs. While “Rampage” is usually the one cracking jokes at the expense of others, Briggs has been owning Jackson on a regular basis every time they meet. Seeing “Rampage” seethe his way through coaching an entire Triller Triad Combat event opposite Briggs was some of the best comedy we’ve seen in a while.

But considering Jackson’s dream MMA fight is against Darrill Schoonover, we have our doubts he’d be aiming to fight Briggs immediately after. Are there any YouTube stars or Instagram influencers out there that could fight “Rampage” at heavyweight, we wonder?

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