On a Rampage with Quinton Jackson
I first interviewed the now reigning Light Heavy-Weight UFC champion; Quinton Rampage Jackson, backstage at the Los Angeles Forum amidst a frenzy of fellow reporters, just after his controversial (WFA) win by judges decision against Olympic Silver-Medalist; Matt The Law Lindland. I found Jackson to be quite humorous and personable, seemingly open to welcome any of the questions being rifled towards him from the ensuing mass Press/Media.
One of my then pertinent questions returned a predictable answer from the former Pride-Fighter, when I asked him, "Who do you have in your sites now as your next fighter to challenge?" Jackson readily replied, "Liddell, I want to melt down the Iceman next!" In addition, Jackson also eagerly mentioned his desire to eventually get a chance to defend his important loss to Wanderlei Silva, whom he admitted felt to him much like the "thorn in my side" of his professional fight record.
Quinton Jackson obviously got the opportunity for his long-awaited UFC bout with Chuck Liddell in 2007. Jackson had his chance to not only melt down the Iceman, but, literally proceeded to strike his way to an exciting win via TKO before a completely sold-out crowd, making him the only individual competitor to beat Chuck The Iceman Liddell twice. This remains Liddells only rematched loss to date!
Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, USA, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson began his combative sports career as a high school wrestler, receiving All-State honors. Originally intending to become a professional wrestler after continuing to compete well into college, Jackson then began to witness the success that some of his fellow wrestlers were beginning to have in Mixed-Martial Arts, soon, he too decided to delve more into MMA. Before long, Jackson had built up a solid fight record while competing for smaller MMA promotions, including Dangerzone, Gladiator Challenge and King of the Cage. It wasnt until later when Quinton Jackson became known in Japan as an extreme competitor for the Pride-Fighting Championships, before eventually crossing over into the internationally popular UFC.
First rising to fame as a superstar of Pride-Fighting Championships, which predates the UFC, Quinton, wearing his signature heavy chains around his neck during his pre-fight introductions, became a big name there due in part to the excitement generated by his colorful persona along with his astounding fighting ability. During his Pride-Fighting bouts, Japanese MMA fans went wild with thunderous applause whenever Jackson ably lifted an opponent off their feet and forcefully body-slammed them onto the floor mat of the regulatory Ring. The extreme force of this impressive move has even completely knocked-out (KOd) some of Jacksons worthy opponents!
After leaving Pride in 2005-2006 and then going on to win a controversial decision over Matt The Law Lindland for the newly formed World Fighting Alliance, it was in December of 2006, when UFC parent company Zuffa, announced acquiring the short-lived WFA contract with Quinton Rampage Jackson. It was in the UFC where Jackson finally avenged his 2000 loss against Marvin The Beast Eastman. At 6'1" / 205lbs. and an impressive fight record of 28-6-0, the highly experienced Jackson will surely continue to impress all his many new admirers as well by perpetuating his current reign as the Light Heavy-Weight Champion of the UFC.
Life outside of the cage for Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is somewhat of a contrast. Jackson enjoys listening to music and has actually recorded some of his own Rap music before his converting to Christianity, expressing a desire to re-record his songs to remove the more explicit language used prior to releasing any of his material, in order to comply with his religious beliefs.
Jackson now resides in Irvine, California with his four children. He is continuing much of his training in the Southland and in its local mountain community of Big Bear, stating that the type of training he receives up in the high altitude seems to improve his overall cardio and discipline.
Shortly after his loss to Forrest Griffin (His Ultimate-Fighter T.V. series rival), Jackson recently ran afoul of the law by allegedly going on a literal rampage while driving in Orange County. It has been reported that Quentin even attempted to evade local police and Highway Patrol officers when repeatedly commanded to pull his vehicle over to the side of the freeway. After Rampage was booked and arrested he was jailed overnight until UFC President Dana White could get a flight in from Las Vegas to post his bail.
Although, for now the near future may appear somewhat uncertain for Quentin "Rampage" Jackson, he is still a great MMA fighter who possesses a lot of potential!
Before the end of the decade, Rampage revisited the Ultimate Fighter TV Series for another turn as a team coach, opposite rival coach Rashad Evans.
During the season, the two UFC veteran champions seriously squared off against one another in numerous heated personal debates, which culminated into several blood-boiling physical threats.
Needless to say, the show's viewer ratings soared!
Rampage Joins the A-Team
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson jumped into the "cage of opportunity" to portray his childhood idol B.A. Baracus, a charactor originally made famous by the outlandish (Gold chain-wearing, mohawked, fool-pitying) actor Mr. T, in the big-budget movie remake of the popular 80's TV action-comedy series "The A-Team," directed by writer-director Joe (Smokin' Aces / Narc) Carnahan.
Once word got out about its casting, a myriad of media heavyweights, including Ice Cube, Common and even street-fighter Kimbo Slice wished to wrestle for the chance role as B.A. Baracus.
The producers of "The A-Team" finally submitted to Carnahan's own request to cast the former Ultimate Fighting Challenge Light-Heavyweight Champion.
The deal was settled once Jackson promised to retire from fighting until his acting contract for the film was eventually fulfilled.
"Mr. T was my hero growing up," claims Jackson. "I was a big fan of the A-Team."
At the time of this report, the film is scheduled for a June 11th, 2010 release.