Join Date: Jan 2008
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RAMPAGE JACKSON: "I RESPECT BOTH CHUCK AND WANDERLEI!"
By Percy Crawford | January 11, 2008
UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson recently took time out of his schedule to kick back with FightHype.com and share his thoughts on Chuck Liddell's big win over Wanderlei Silva as well as his upcoming role as coach on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. Check out what he had to say about Forrest Griffin, Floyd Mayweather Jr., the Pride FC belt he's still waiting on and more. Plus, you don't want to miss the special message he has for the fans.
PC: How you doing Page?
QJ: I'm good. How you doing?
PC: I'm good my man. How were your holidays?
QJ: They going pretty good. How yours going?
PC: Everything went good. Thanks for asking. You've had a big year my man. How are you taking everything in man?
QJ: I'm just thankful that everything worked out. All of my plans came together and it worked out good, you know what I'm saying.
PC: I see you're going to be in a horror movie called "Midnight Meat Train."
QJ: Yeah, I did that movie right before I fought Chuck.
PC: Ok, and it's coming out later this year right?
QJ: Yeah, it's going to be out later this year.
PC: Brothers usually don't make it too long in horror flicks before they get whacked. How long are you going to be in there?
QJ: Ah (laughing) not long!
PC: You've been all over ESPN and you received Fighter of the Year and Knockout of the Year in 2007. I know when I spoke with you before the Liddell fight, you said you wished people got a chance to know you more. How does it feel to get that respect?
QJ: I said that?
PC: Yeah, before the Chuck fight you said you wished they would've given the fans a chance to know more about you.
QJ: Oh yeah! I wish they would've let the fans know more about me. I still wish that because the fans really still don't know who Rampage really is. The hardcore fans know who I am, but the newcomers really don't know much about me. They don't know what's up with my personality. They don't know a whole lot about me. I wish they would learn who Rampage is before they come up with their opinions about me.
PC: They have plenty of time to see more of Rampage. You will be coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. How did that come up and can they expect the same Rampage?
QJ: They could always expect the same Rampage, you know what I'm saying? Little do people know, Rampage is the same whether the camera around or not. Some people might not know, but I'm a human being. Rampage is a normal human being. I have good days and bad days. The UFC and Dana White came around and approached me and they thought it would be good for me and Forrest to coach the next show and I accepted the offer.
PC: What do you think about Forrest as a fighter?
QJ: I think Forrest is a good up and coming fighter. He's a good fighter man. He's tough and any guy that gets out there in the UFC and goes to war, they have my respect so I'm going to definitely respect him.
PC: If you are successful against Forrest, will you feel any vindication from the Shogun fight or do you still want Shogun in the cage?
QJ: I want to get everybody that beat me. I've said that 100 times; everybody that beat me in the past, that's who I want.
PC: I know you've never assumed a coaches role before, but sometimes a kid will come in and not want to train or say he's too injured to train. How does Rampage deal with that?
QJ: Really, if they don't want to train and stuff like that, I'm not going to put a lot of energy and time into them. I'll dedicate my energy and time to the ones that do want to train; it's as simple as that. I'm not nobody's momma or daddy. Now, on that show, I'm a whole lot of people's daddy, but not theirs (laughing). You know what I'm saying, but I aint nobody's momma, believe that! If they don't want to train, then boo hoo to them. To be honest, I'm not the type of guy that has to win everything or lose everything. It's not me up there. I'm not trying to become The Ultimate Fighter. I'm not trying to win the Coach of the Year award, but whenever I do something, I'm going to try and do it 120 %. It's them out there getting they ass whopped. If they don't want to train, it's on them. I'm not going to waste any time on people that don't want to train or don't want to do right.
PC: Were you surprised at the way Machida handled Sokoudjou?
QJ: I'm telling you man, Sokoudjou and Machida are the last things on my mind. That was my first time even seeing Sokoudjou fight. I've never even seen him fight before. I wasn't surprised, shocked or disappointed; I'm not nothing. That's the last people on my mind, Sokoudjou and Machida. I can barely even say they damn name.
PC: Floyd Mayweather Jr. is hinting about getting into MMA. What do you think about that?
QJ: I think he just talking because he make too much money boxing so why would he jump into mixed martial arts where he gotta take a paycut? Floyd Mayweather likes to talk; he likes to be a flamboyant person, which the sport of boxing needs so let him keep doing his talking. Let him keep doing that because boxing need that as well because they don't have anybody right now that's outspoken and speaks out and stuff like that so he can keep doing his talking. I would be very shocked if he steps one foot into a cage.
PC: I saw you were at UFC 79. What did you think of the 2 main events?
QJ: I thought it was a great fight, the Wanderlei and Chuck one. The Matt Hughes against St-Pierre was kind of like a one-sided fight. Wanderlei and Chuck should have been more like the main event, but that fight wasn't for a belt so I understood, but that was the main event that night. That's the fight that most people were talking about when they was leaving, but any time a one-sided fight goes down, it's cool if you're the guy who won. I respect both Chuck and Wanderlei because both of them guys were coming off of two losses and you could tell they were fighting their hearts out. The warrior spirit came out and they did an excellent job in entertaining people. That's what it really boils down to…entertainment, right?
PC: Yeah, definitely!
QJ: I was really entertained in that fight. I was nervous and everything. I don't even know why I was nervous. I ain't worried about nam one of them because I'm not in there, but for some reason, I was nervous like, "Damn, who about to get knocked out?!" It was an exciting fight. It kept me on my toes and I liked it.
PC: Have you got your Pride FC title yet?
QJ: Nah, I still haven't got the Pride belt yet, but they're making it. I heard it takes a long time to make them.
PC: Congratulations on a hell of a year. It's always a pleasure.
QJ: Alright thanks man.
PC: Is there anything you want to say in closing?
QJ: I just want to let the MMA fans know that Rampage loves the fans a lot and no matter what people say, and I do have to apologize to let some fans know that I've been kind of evaluating myself since I got to the UFC because it's kind of like being on one of them reality shows, not The Ultimate Fighter reality show, but some of these other ones where these guys get famous over night. It's kind of like being famous over night where you don't know how to deal with your fame. I noticed after I knocked out Chuck and a lot of people booed me for doing my job and I kind of resented a lot of the fans lately and that's really not me so I apologize for…there's no way I could tell the hardcore fans and the fans that really like me from the new bandwagon fans. I just want to let the fans know that I'm reevaluating…not that I'm doing anything wrong or nothing like that, but I've just been thinking about it myself, since I've had a wonderful year, that I normally do more for the fans and I've noticed since my Chuck fight and me getting booed and stuff like that, I haven't been as fan-friendly as I used to be. I'm evaluating myself and getting back closer to my fans. The fans make the sport. I just want to teach the fans stuff too, like look at us like regular people, you know what I'm saying? Really, we are regular people and regular human beings. As long as you react to us like regular human beings, you'll probably get a greater reaction back from us. No one famous or not famous likes to be annoyed. Think about how you approach a person and think about what you're going to say before you say it. If you the type of person that just likes to get up under peoples skin anyway, then that's just your personality. I just want all of my hardcore fans, the people that have been supporting me since my Pride days, everything that I do is for them. I don't want to let my fans down and I love them a lot and thank you for supporting me all of these years and if you go back and listen to some of my old interviews, I told you guys once I fight at close to 100% and I had good sparring partners, I'm unstoppable. Now you see it's starting to come true because I'm here to stay and I'll be here for a long time. I love all of my fans.
PC: You're in another league right now man. Just keep it up and be you. You're one of the funniest and most exciting fighters I've ever seen. Don't let a few fans change you.
QJ: Thanks! I could never change, but some fans nitpick over small stuff like, "Rampage didn't smile in my picture." I don't smile in pictures. I'm a fighter I'm not a damn figure skater. You take a picture with me, I'm going to put on a mean frown and throw my fist up. That's what I do; that's me. That's the way I've always been so my hardcore fans and the fans that have known me for years, they know me, but those are the things that I love and respect the most. A lot of fans, they're going to have to earn my respect and take the time to get to know me. I know I'm new to them, but it goes both ways. They probably want me to earn their respect so I do my job. I fight; win, lose or draw. I go out there and put my life on the line and fans have to respect that. I'm very fan-friendly. If I feel like people disrespect me as a human being or come up to me and say, "Howl Rampage!"…I'm not a dog, I'm not a puppet and I don't have any strings hanging from me.
PC: I understand you totally on that. Just keep it going Rampage. As a fan, I enjoy everything that you do.
QJ: Alright man, much love!