Image source: Lucas Noonan via Quinton Jackson Instagram (@rampage4real)
To say Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is a legend of the sport is an understatement. ‘Rampage’ has competed in a wide range of organisations including King of the Cage, PRIDE, UFC and now Bellator and has won the UFC light heavyweight title. ‘Rampage’ has also unified the UFC light heavyweight title with the PRIDE middleweight title by defeating Dan Henderson.
All of those accomplishments mean that ‘Rampage’ truly has nothing left to prove in the sport of MMA and Bellator President Scott Coker has echoed that sentiment to MMA Junkie. Coker questions whether Jackson has reached that point in his career where it’s a question of whether he truly wants to continue competing in the cage.
“‘Rampage,’ I think he’s got to figure out what weight class he wants to fight at. That’s really what it comes down to. We fulfilled our obligation with him and we’re still talking to his manager. We have a good relationship with him and Tiki (Ghosn), and it’s just going to be like: Does he really want to do this? Does he really want to go out there and throw down? Because there’s times in a fighter’s career where it’s like, ‘That’s it.’ They’ve done everything they can in the sport.
‘Rampage’ is a legend. He’s already done it all. He doesn’t have anything to prove to anybody, including myself. I think that’s something we’ll have a conversation with him, but Tiki is saying he wants to go back down to 205. If he’s really serious about taking another stab at it. We’ll definitely have that conversation.”
It’s understandable that Coker would question Jackson’s desire to keep competing. In his last outing Jackson weighed a career high 265lbs leading into his fight with Fedor Emelianenko and was ultimately stopped in the first round. The loss was the first time ‘Rampage’ had been stopped via strikes since his 2005 loss to Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua back in 2005 in PRIDE.
Jackson was the first to admit that he was too heavy for the fight and it was his own fault.
“Sorry guys, we didn’t get the outcome that we wanted but you know what? I knew one of us was going to get knocked out, but I didn’t know it was going to be fucking me. I ain’t mad though, you win some, you lose some, you get paid for all.
It’s all good, I’m not in a bad mood, I just know what I got to do. I’ve got to get my damn weight down, I felt like a hippopotamus out there. But that’s my fault, no excuses.”
Coker isn’t ruling out a ‘Rampage’ return though, especially not on the back of his performance to Emelianenko who Coker said deserves all of the credit for the win.
“Fedor was in great shape and he came in and did what he had to do. He looked amazing, honestly. He threw combinations. He threw legs kicks like he hasn’t in a while, he surprised me. ‘Rampage, he did the best he could.’ He got hit and I think he just felt the power and he said, ‘There’s going to be another day for me and it’s not going to be tonight.’ Fedor is who he is. Even though Fedor is in the fourth quarter of his career and it’s the two-minute warning, the guy is still dangerous. Any day that he punches you it’s lights out.”