Quinton “Rampage” Jackson used the UFC on FOX 6 conference call on Tuesday to say his goodbyes, taunt and vent.
“He’s just like the other guys I fought. He’s a coward,” Jackson said of Saturday’s opponent, Glover Teixeira.
That was on the second question of the call. Other fighters on the UFC on FOX 6 card in Chicago also made their presence known, including a foul-mouthed Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
But it was Jackson — in the final fight of a multi-fight UFC deal — who was the most outspoken.
“I want to get this last UFC fight out of the way and enjoy myself as a free agent,” said Jackson, a former UFC light heavyweight champ. “I’m going to see who’s interested in me.”
Previously, Jackson said that he wasn’t happy with the fighters he’d been matched up against or his compensation. Jackson added his apparent inability to wear Reebok, his apparel sponsor, into the Octagon as another reason he’s putting the UFC in the rearview.
“I see other fighters sponsored by Nike. Why can’t I have Reebok?” Jackson said. “It’s stupid stuff like that. It’s not only about money. It’s about respect.”
Many other professional sports have exclusive sponsorship deals that limit the brands their athletes can wear. While UFC does have exclusive deals in the beer category with Anheuser-Busch (Bud Light), the same is not confirmed for Nike.
When emailed about Rampage’s Reebok situation, a UFC spokesperson replied, “We work with apparel companies from all over the world through our approved partnership program. We’ve not yet been approached by Reebok on behalf of Rampage, but welcome the conversation. We do everything we can to support our athletes getting these types of sponsorships and will continue to do so moving forward.”
As for future fights, Jackson said that UFC officials offered him a new contract, but he declined to re-sign.
“I have been mad with the UFC for a long time,” Jackson said. “It’s turned me into a very negative person. I just want to be a positive person. I have to get rid of all the negativity in my life. I have to get rid of some friends … some negative family members. I’m getting rid of UFC.
“I think that they’re happy with me leaving, as well.”
Beyond moving to another MMA organization, Rampage said boxing and maybe more movies were in his future.
Later in the call, Cerrone got into it with Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA teammate Demetrious Johnson over which one would get the “Fight of the Night” bonus.
“You better fight on a different card if you want that,” Cerrone said.
When asked what type of fight to expect as he takes on Anthony Pettis, Cerrone frankly said he would "go and throw the (expletive) down."
The other major news from the call was that play-by-play commentator Mike Goldberg, who missed UFC 155 last month for an undisclosed reason, will be back to call UFC on FOX 6.