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'Rampage' Jackson interested in fights with Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Mitrione

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Quinton Jackson likes Fedor Emelianenko a lot. "Rampage" has called the Russian legend an idol and a friend. That, however, does not mean a fight between the two is off the table.

Jackson told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he'd be willing to fight Emelianenko, because the timing is right for them both.

"Fedor is one of the most gentlest giants you ever want to meet," Jackson said. "I've got the utmost respect for him. But sometimes the fans probably need to see fights like that. Me and him, we're both past our prime, I'm gonna be honest. We're older and stuff like that. Those are the types of fights that maybe Bellator wants to put on, when guys get over a certain age, maybe we should fight each other."

Jackson, 38, is a former UFC light heavyweight champion and a huge star in PRIDE, where Emelianenko, 39, also made his name. The two have a warm relationship, going back years, "Rampage" said.

"Even though we don't speak the same language, we're friends," Jackson explained. "I still make him laugh. You know it's hard to make Fedor laugh, he don't change his facial expressions at all. I don't even know if he understands what I be saying, but when he gets around me, he be smiling."

Emelianenko, now a free agent, is coming off a controversial majority decision win over Fabio Maldonado at Eurasia Fight Nights 50 earlier this month. Many thought Maldonado won or that it should have been a draw. Jackson has a victory over Maldonado in the UFC and most recently defeated Satoshi Ishii by split decision last Friday night at Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2.

Jackson (37-11) wasn't happy with how that last fight went. Ishii pushed him against the cage for the majority of the 15 minutes without doing much damage. Jackson also got taken down a few times. It wasn't the kind of stand-up war that "Rampage" covets.

"I need to be a promoter, man," Jackson said. "I need to start a promotion. If I was a promoter, man, I would be the best matchmaker. I would be putting on the most exciting fights. Take nothing away from Bellator, it's cool. But I wouldn't put a fighter like me against fighters like Ishii and guys who are gonna be fighting scared. He even said that he was scared. Fedor wouldn't be scared with me. Matt Mitrione wouldn't be scared to fight with me. Those would be like stand-up wars."

A bout with Mitrione, who knocked out Carl Seumanutafa on Friday, is also of interest to Jackson, he said. Mitrione has been asking for that fight for years, according to "Rampage." The two have a history. Mitrione was a castmate on The Ultimate Fighter 10 and Jackson coached the opposing team.

After watching Mitrione get dropped and nearly knocked out by Seumanutafa in the first round at Dynamite 2, Jackson is confident in how a fight with "Meathead" would go. Mitrione is slated to fight Oli Thompson at Bellator 158 next.

"I think I'd get Mitrione in like the first round," Jackson said. "Y'all saw him get dropped. I don't even know how he got out of that. I don't know how he got out of that first round. He was lucky, Matt."

No matter the opponent, Jackson said he's going to take a week off and then get back in the gym. He wants to put in a full, eight-to-10 week training camp, because he didn't train for a year in between fights while dealing with legal issues with Bellator.

"I want to come in with some abs, I want to get back in shape and get back in there," Jackson said. "I do want some abs. I miss my abs, man. I want to bring sexy back."

Jackson -- abs or no abs -- taking on Emelianenko would be a major ratings draw for Bellator on Spike TV if it could happen. "Rampage," for one, is down if the pieces fall into place.

"At this point, I'll fight anybody," Jackson said. "People talking about me fighting Fedor. He's my friend, stuff like that. If it works, it works, man."