‘Rampage’ Jackson reveals reasons for his return to the UFC
The fight world was shocked Saturday night when former light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson announced that he had decided to come back and sign with the UFC. The shock likely was at least two-pronged.
First of all, Jackson has been under contract with Bellator. Secondly, when the star left the UFC in 2013, he did so bitterly and amidst a great deal of public acrimony and accusations.
During an in-depth conversation FOX Sports had with Jackson, which will be published in more detail on Monday morning, the fighter explained more about his decision to return to the UFC.
When Jackson signed with Viacom, the parent company of Bellator, he said he was promised not just MMA fights, but also opportunities in professional wrestling, movie roles and television specials and series. At the end of the day, Jackson claims he was able to terminate his contract with Viacom because they didn’t meet their contractual commitments to him.
As for the bad blood with the UFC, notably promoter and president Dana White, Jackson acknowledges he’ll likely have problems with decisions made by the organization, but he’s realized that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
"When I left, I thought that the UFC was the worst promotion out there and I thought, ‘There’s gotta be somebody who will treat me better,’ " Jackson said. "[Viacom] treated me well for awhile … but the UFC is way better than them.
"I didn’t know what Bellator would be like. You know how it is, when you go to a new organization or job, you are real excited. I thought I was going to have fun making movies, doing pro wrasslin’, they told me we would sell a lot of pay-per-views, a lot of toys, a lot of shirts. I thought, ‘Oh yeah, OK, cool! I’m going to come over here and make a killing. Then, I won’t feel some type of way when I’m out with my kids and can’t get privacy, because I’ll feel it’s worth it.’"
Jackson wouldn’t give specifics on the terms of his new UFC contract but said that he is "happy with my contract. I’m happy right now ," he said with a laugh.
"Nobody pays as much as the UFC," he added.
As for what he hopes to accomplish in his second go-round in the UFC, Jackson says he simply wants to fight and fight well, but he’d also fight for the belt if he works his way back into title contention.
"I’m an old dog," the 36-year-old said. "I’ve been there and done all that. Let the young guys go after it. I just really like fighting … it’s going to be a hard day for me when I have to hang up my gloves. I have fight in me."