Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will return to the Octagon after more than a year away from mixed martial arts when he takes on Rashad Evans in May at UFC 114. But just because he's coming back doesn't mean he has a passion for his sport. In an interview with Fighters Only, Jackson said that he likes acting better than MMA, and he looks forward to leaving the UFC once he fulfills his contractual obligations.
"I don't know how much I ever loved the fight game, to be honest," Jackson said. "Most fighters these days join fighting because they became a fan of it. When I started I wasn't a fan of it -- I've been a fighter my whole life. I just thought it was a blessing that God could give me something I could make money doing. When I was a kid I got tired of fighting. I didn't want to be a fighter anymore. But I was just good at it. It was just something that was in my blood. Some people are fighters."
Jackson, who delayed his fight with Evans by six months so he could film The A-Team, said that the UFC's refusal to embrace his acting aspirations took away some of his enjoyment of being involved in the company.
"I like it a lot less than I used to," Jackson said. "It's no secret, everybody knows about the falling out I had with the UFC, and it's just unfortunate that they're trying to blame me for doing this movie."
Although the UFC steadfastly supported Jackson in 2008, when he was arrested on felony reckless driving charges, he said he doesn't believe the UFC has treated him particularly well. For example, he said he wanted to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and that UFC President Dana White first told him he could, then told him he couldn't.
"They've said some things and done some things I don't agree with -- that's not the way I do business," Jackson said. "I'm a loyal person so I take care of people who take care of me, but people who don't take care of me, I don't take care of them. So I'm done with the UFC. They can't ask me for anymore favors. Nothing. I just want to finish my contract and get out of there, do my own thing. Dana lied to me. He told me I didn't have to fight Rashad, I could fight Machida. I did the show and then after that he told me I had to fight Rashad."
Jackson is a great fighter, and MMA fans love watching him fight. But hearing him talk about how he doesn't love the sport and doesn't like the UFC, it's hard not to think his fighting days are numbered.