Morning Report: Rampage Jackson claims UFC lies about pay-per-view buyrates to potentially withhold fighter earnings

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It didn't take long for Quinton "Rampage" Jackson to explain why exactly he was so disgruntled during the latter portion of his UFC tenure.

Just days after losing his presumed final bout with the organization, Jackson appeared on multiple media outlets not only refuting Dana White's claim that he made upwards of $15 million in six years, but also alleging that the UFC lies about its pay-per-view buyrates, either to the press, or to fighters as a means to withhold earnings.

"In my opinion, I just feel like me and the rest of the UFC fighters are getting taken advantage of," Jackson explained to MMA Heat. "I feel like the UFC is cleaning house. Like the pay-per-view dollars, they tell me one number, but then they tell the press one number. Pay me the numbers that you tell the press. Don't tell me, 'Oh, we only made this, we only sold this many.' Then you tell the press, 'Oh we sold this many.' But then I'm like, 'Hey, you only told me we only sold 800,000 buys, but you told the press you sold a million buys.' [They say,] 'Oh, we're just saying that for the press.' No, no, just pay me like what you told the press then, because you lying somewhere. You either lying to me or you lying to the press about the pay-per-view numbers. You know what I'm saying? If they're doing it to me, I'm sure they're doing it to other fighters.

"I'm the one who put myself through all this pain," he continued. "Be away from my family, then go out there in front of millions of people and risk getting my ass kicked in little-bity ass shorts. I'm the one that's doing that, then to after the fight feel like, ‘Am I getting ripped off, because he told me we only sold this many? I know we promoted it and did good.' Like when me and Rashad [Evans] did The Ultimate Fighter, it broke records, it broke all different type of records on The Ultimate Fighter, stuff like that. Then when the pay-per-view came, it didn't do well. I'm like, ‘Well, that's not what you told the press.' So I starting watching and watching this stuff. After a while I just couldn't take it no more. I just cant take it. I'd rather fight for another organization, make less money, and make honest money. Know that they're not cheating me out of money."

Jackson later went on to echo those exact sentiments in a brief interview with TMZ, also adding that the UFC never paid him royalties for the release of a Rampage's Greatest Hits compilation. Of course there are two sides to every story, so it's clear this conversation is far from over.

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6 MUST-READ STORIES

Rampage rips UFC. Speaking to MMA Heat, former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson accused the UFC of lying about its pay-per-view sales, possibly to withhold earnings from fighters. Jackson also told TMZ that the UFC never paid him for the release of a Rampage's Greatest Hits compilation.

Bellator 87 weigh-in results. All eight main card fighters successfully met their required weight at Wednesday's official Bellator 87 weigh-ins, including lightweight headliners David Rickels and Lloyd Woodard.

Bisping vs. Belcher. A middleweight bout between recently fallen contenders Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher will serve as the co-main event of UFC 159.

'Pitbull' injured. A last-second knee injury led to Patricky "Pitbull" Freire's removal from Bellator's season eight lightweight tournament. Former TUF contestant Saad Awad has taken his place.

Guida judge follows him on Facebook. From the files of MMA conspiracies, Gabriel Sabaitis, the judge who somehow scored Clay Guida's bout against Hatsu Hioki 30-27 in favor of Guida, is not only an Illinois resident, but he also, apparently, is Facebook friends with Guida himself.

Cejudo joins MMA. Acclaimed wrestler Henry Cejudo officially announced his intention to become a professional mixed martial artist. The 25-year-old Cejudo claimed gold at the 2008 Olympic games in Men's Freestyle wrestling at 55kg, and would potentially fight in the flyweight division.

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MEDIA STEW

Now that Rampage is no longer under Zuffa contract, he's free to explain what exactly went wrong. For starters: pay-per-view discrepancies and an allegedly non-existent royalty check from a greatest hits collection.

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The moral of the story: Lorenzo Fertitta doesn't get mad. He gets even. (Also, controversy aside, Rampage's reaction at 8:26 is about as endearing at it gets.)

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Kimbo Silce's latest boxing venture featured not just one, but two attempted takedowns. Who'd have thought?

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Remember that Star Trek video from last week? Yep, this is the exact same thing, except with Harry Potter.

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No clue why, but that "Tricky Nick" slide got me right in the funnies. Good stuff, Tommy.

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If you thought you saw everything on this week's UFC Tonight, you're not entirely correct. Apparently the interview with Dana White was much longer than originally aired, and a heated, insult-filled rant against Viacom was among the tidbits that got left on the cutting room floor. (For the lazy, jump to 3:40 to see it.)

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BACK ON THE HORSE

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WELCOME TO 2013, INJURY BUG

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PREPARING FOR MR. WONDERFUL

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NOW IT'S PERSONAL

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WELL WISHES FROM THE 209

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WE HAVE A NEW CHALLENGER

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YUP

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Wednesday, January 30, 2013):

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes from Hayabusa2000, who explores: The Myth of Bisping's Easy Ride

That many fans dislike Michael Bisping is therefore not in doubt. However, my contention is that this colours all discussion of his merits as a fighter and the way in which he is matched up inside the Octagon.

A long-standing meme is that the Count gets fights where his opponent is either of insufficient quality or a favourable stylistic match-up. Furthermore, it is argued that this stands in stark contrast to the rest of the Middleweight division. This is attributed to his 'protected' status as the flagbearer of UK MMA. I think this is a myth and here's why.

Let's have a look at the current top ten, extend it out a bit to cover others that have recently been 'in the mix', and consider their last 5 fights (brackets are outside of MW):

Silva - (Bonnar), Sonnen, Okami, Belfort, Sonnen

Sonnen - Silva, Bisping, Stann, Silva, Marquadt

Weidman - Munoz, Maia, Lawlor, Bongfeldt, Sakara

Belfort - Bisping, (Jones), Johnson, Akiyama, Silva

Bisping - Belfort, Stann, Sonnen, Miller, Rivera

Munoz - Weidman, Leben, Maia, Dolloway, Simpson

Okami - Belcher, Roberts Boetsch Silva, Marquadt

Rockhold - Kennedy, Jardine, Souza, Bradley, Taylor

Stann - Bisping, Sakara, Sonnen, Santiago, Leben

Philippou - Boetsch, Fukuda, McGee, Hamman, Rivera

Boetsch - Philippou, Lombard, Okami, Ring, Grove

Lombard - Palhares, Boetsch, Prangley, Taylor, Vitale

Belcher - Okami, Palhares, MacDonald, Cote, Gouveia

A few things stand out here: firstly, the denizens of the lower echelons of the top 10 have all fought mid-level guys pretty recently, as have Munoz and Weidman, and have few 'top ten' wins (although Leben was a good win a couple of years ago). Secondly, it's not unusual for guys to get at least one and possibly two winnable fights after losing a big one (Stann and Okami being cases in point here). Thirdly, Bisping's last three fights are as tough as anyone's.

Bisping does gets more strikers than wrestlers, but his ability to nullify Sonnen suggests that's hardly favourable. In fact, he's more likely to lose a fight standing up through his poor defence.

One point I will concede. There's no doubt that the UFC would like Bisping to get a title shot and his profile reflects this. He is almost always the main or co-main and so it is very noticeable when he gets matched-up with a mid-level guy. I think this is part of the reason why he is considered to get an easy ride. But is that so different to a guy like Belfort or Stann? I'd argue not.

To conclude, I'd argue that in the last couple of years BIsping's competition is comparable with his peers. The quality of his opponents reflect his true position in the bottom half of the top ten. The days of him being fed guys like Kang and Akiyama are receding into the distance.

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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