This Man Will Hurt You
For the right price, Quinton "Rampageâ€ Jackson will administer an ass whooping unlike anything you've ever felt. Unfortunately Chuck Liddell, the current Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champ has set the right price, which is why the two will be squaring off in the octagon on Pay-Per-View, Saturday, May 26. "I see Chuck as a big ass payday,â€ says Rampage. But besides the guap at stake, Rampage's opponent is also his way towards UFC history. If Rampage wins, the Memphis-bred Mixed Martial Artist will become the first black UFC light heavyweight champion.
Rampage has climbed through the ranks of MMA, which he began to take seriously after one of his friends whom Rampage trained, suggested he take a shot at it too. Since then, Rampage has fought with Pride Fighting in Japan (which is where he first fought Liddell and won), but is now back in the United States after being signed by the UFC. And though he's on the cusp to make history if (or, as he says, "whenâ€) he beats Liddell in their rematch, Rampage hesitates to wear the significance of his victory on his sleeve.
KING-MAG.com sat down with Rampage to talk about his growing visibility in a growing sport, his problem with boxers like Floyd Mayweather Jr., and why the chain he wears around his neck is his secret to victory.
On The Chance To Make History
It's always good to make history, go down in the history books. I know there were other black champions in the UFC. It's a white sport, but to be a 100 percent honest and non-bias, I kind of think it's about time white folks got a sport, besides hockey [laughs]. We kind of took over football, basketball, and boxing. They need something other than hockey and golf that somebody else will watch [laughs].
African-American Fans and Japanese Fans
My people show me respect in the â€˜hood. I love all my fans no matter how they look. I love my people but I'm one of my people. I know that if I'm a fan of someone, I give them respect, but I'm going to keep my pockets to myself. But you know, Japanese people, they'll spend their last dollar on you. The shorts you fight in, you can probably sell those shorts for like $1,000. Not too many black folks go and buy your sweaty ass shorts.
Thoughts on Floyd Mayweather Junior
[Ed. Note: In an interview with the boxing media, Mayweather Jr. was asked about UFC outselling boxing on pay-per-view to which Maywweather Jr. responded: "UFC ain't shit. It ain't but a fad. Anyone can get a tattoo on their head and get in a street fight.â€]
He disrespected my sport. I respect boxers because I think if any MMA (mixed martial artist) guy gets in a boxing ring with a boxer and put on some boxing gloves, we're pretty much in trouble. But on the same hand, if they get in the cage with us and put on them MMA gloves, that's all you gotta say. Respect the people's sport because I don't even like the fact that they call the boxers fighters because they ain't fighting, they're boxing. We're fighting. I heard he took back the stuff that he said. Everyone can be forgiven, but he was my favorite fighter until then.
Facing Chuck Liddell
There's no rivalry at all, I just want to show the world who's the best. I'm going to put him on his ass so people won't be mistaken. I got nothing against Chuck; he's a cool dude, when we see each other we talk. The last time we fought each other, we bought each other drinks before in the club. I got nothing against the guy, it's my job, I know Chuck is going to try and knock me out, so it gives me incentive to train harder so I can knock his head off.
It started as a good luck thing. My youngest brother gave it to me when I was wrestling, because when I first started wrestling, I was getting my butt kicked every time. So he just thought it would be a good idea to wear a chain. It just became a part of me.
Is Rampage the Muhammad Ali of Mixed Martial Arts?
Well, with all due respect to Muhammad Ali, I don't want to disrespect nobody, people have said that I am the Muhammad Ali of this sport but I like to be my own man. I like to be who I am. Rampage. That's how I want to be remembered. I don't want them to compare me to Muhammad Ali because he is who he is. I mean no disrespect to Muhammad Ali, that's a nice compliment for someone to say, but I want people to remember me as Rampage, he's one charismatic guy, he's the man of MMA. He's the face of MMA.
Highlights from the first match between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Chuck Liddell
Rampage slams an opponent out cold