Shortly after Rampage Jackson
wrote on his web site that he was retiring from mixed martial arts
to pursue a career in acting, UFC President Dana White
said he was disappointed in Jackson for "acting like a baby" -- but he added that he understands Jackson can do whatever he wants with his life.
"Rampage is a grown man," White told Carmichael Dave on the radio station KHTK (audio here
). "He's acting like a baby right now, but he's a grown man. If he wants to be in the movie business, Rampage, good luck to you, man. I hope he makes it big, and I'm not being sarcastic. ... I hope the movie thing works out for him. If that's what he truly wants to do, and that's what he feels and that's what he thinks his career is, I wish him all the luck in the world."
White said he didn't get any advance warning from Jackson about the surprise retirement announcement and that he still likes Jackson personally, but that if Jackson wants to leave the UFC, White can't stop him.
"I just found out, too," White said. "Rampage has been a friend of ours. We really like Rampage. I'm not going to get into the battle of who's done what for who and all that stuff. We've done a lot for him and yes, he's been there and fought. The guys who come in here, they're fighters. That's what they do. We give them fights and they fight. And they make money and we make money. That's the way it works."
White also said he understands that Jackson was upset with him for belittling his decision to turn down a fight with Rashad Evans and instead join the cast of the upcoming A-Team movie -- but White doesn't regret speaking candidly about his thoughts on Jackson's career decision.
"I got so pissed off," White said. "I'm speaking my mind, he thinks I'm trying to ruin his movie career."
White disputed Jackson's claims that he was pressured into fighting Evans instead of UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, but other than that he didn't take issue with anything Jackson has said. As far as White is concerned, it's Jackson's decision to make.
"He's a grown man," White said. "He can do whatever he wants to do."What do you think of the Rampage Jackson-Dana White dispute? Tell me on Twitter @MichaelDavSmith