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He's not opposed to fighting Kimbo Slice, but ‘in a perfect world’ Quinton Jackson would like to see Darrill Schoonover

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Now that Quinton Jackson has resolved his legal issues with Bellator and signed a new two-fight deal, the former UFC champion has a clear path back to the cage. Yet he’s not real sure when he will fight again for the Viacom-owned promotion, which he last competed for in May 2014 against Muhammed Lawal.

And as for whom he’ll face when he does get back in there, well, that’s still to be determined as well. One name that he wouldn’t necessarily pass up if presented is Kimbo Slice — the man who helped break Belaltor viewership records on Friday night with his squash bout with fellow street fighter Dada 5000 in Houston.

"Rampage" was a guest on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, and he said that there’s an ounce of intrigue to taking on the former YouTube sensation.

"Well, to be honest, when I did The Ultimate Fighter with Kimbo, he kind of mentioned something that he always wanted to fight me and stuff like that." Jackson told Ariel Helwani. "And even though Kimbo’s a heavyweight, I’m a big light heavyweight. What I’m thinking is on The Ultimate Fighter, we seen Kimbo get in shape and do well. I don’t think he took Dada serious, and I don’t think he trained hard for him.

"I’m thinking that if I had to fight Kimbo I think he would most definitely train hard for me and he’d probably get in shape. Especially with that embarrassment out there. There’s a lot of people who are kind of embarrassed of that performance from what I’ve read."

When asked if he were interested more directly, the 38-year old Jackson broke it down.

"I’m a fighter — that’s what I do, is fight," he said. "It’s been a couple of opponents that I didn’t want to fight that I didn’t think would be a good match up that I fought. I’m interested in finishing my career and entertaining my fans. If the fans want to see Kimbo get slammed and knocked out then..."

Jackson was in limbo for much of the last 20 months, embroiled in a court battle over his contract. He claimed at the time that Bellator breached his contract on a number of levels, namely by not providing appropriate pay-per-view data at Bellator 120, but also for undercutting the entertainment opportunities delineated in the contract. Bellator then accused Jackson of breaching his contract when he signed a new deal with the UFC.

After some drama, he ended up fighting Fabio Maldonado at UFC 186 last April when the Superior Court of New Jersey’s Appellate Division overturned the preliminary injunction against him. Up until last week, it had been a waiting game for Jackson.

Now that he’s able to fight again, he said he needed to get some rust out and ease back into training. Asked if the two fights he signed on for with Bellator might be the last in what will almost certainly be a Hall of Fame career, Jackson said he wasn’t sure just yet.

"I can’t really comment on that right now, because I don’t know homie," he said. "I don’t know what the future beholds. I don’t know. This has probably been the worst thing that’s happened to me in my MMA career, besides getting injured and having surgery or something like that. That’s something you always expect. When you sign up to be a fighter, you don’t expect to go to court, in and out of court and stuff like that, and get attorneys to get all up in your business. So, it’s been a very difficult part of my life. I don’t know what’s going to happen after these two fights."

In a perfect world, who would "Rampage" like to fight? His old nemesis from his coaching stint on TUF 10, Darrill Schoonover, whom he gave a unique nickname while shooting.

"Perfect world, I’m not going to lie — I’d really, really want to fight ‘Titties’ from The Ultimate Fighter, because I’ve been thinking about that," he said. "We almost got in a fight there and he really thought he could beat me.

"I wanted to beat him up on the show, but I didn’t know if I would go to jail or get kicked off the show."

Asked why Schoonover, who last fought in October (a loss) over names like Tito Ortiz, Liam McGeary or Fedor Emelianenko, Jackson said he’s just prioritizing his vendetta list.

"Listen, I know that I’m going to retire soon," he said. "I’m 38. I know that. There’s no way around it. I would love to beat up everybody that beat me and stuff like that, but there’s a lot of — I lost too many times, I guess. That would be a lot, because there’s a lot of guys that beat me. But I want to beat up some people that pissed me off along the way."

Jackson said Schoonover just got under his skin, and it’s something he’d like to resolve once and for all.

"He was just a punk on the show," he said. "He kind of came at me like he wanted to fight, like he really thought he could beat me up. He was trying to scare me, with the guys saying stupid shit like, look at his tattoos, Rampage, this guy is crazy. Look at his tattoo. And I was like, man what the f*ck is that? I don’t care if somebody can sit in a chair and get a tattoo. That don’t mean they’re tough. I know girls who have their whole backs covered, and they trying to intimidate me, look at his tattoos.

"They’re like, oh he’s crazy, he’s some sniper dude from the military, and I’m like I don’t care….he was just pulling at my last nerve on the show."

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