There’s two things Quinton “Rampage” Jackson can tell you: His most recent fight for Bellator was his last, and he has lingering contractual obligations to the UFC.
After that, things get murky.
The veteran light heavyweight — who has fought at heavyweight in his past two bouts — appeared on the 400th episode of The MMA Hour on Monday and he did his best to clear up what is best described as a peculiar contract situation. Sandwiched in the middle of his recent run with Bellator is a lone UFC fight against Fabio Maldonado back in April 2015 that was supposed to be part of a new deal to allow Jackson to return to the Octagon.
Jackson declared himself a free agent after claiming that Bellator failed to honor certain clauses, but he eventually settled that dispute and came back to compete in the Bellator cage two more times. Now it appears his UFC contract is picking back up again, though Jackson isn’t entirely sure what that means for his immediate future.
“It’s very confusing,” Jackson said. “It’s no secret that I was in a lawsuit with Bellator after I went back with the UFC to fight Fabio [Maldonado], so I had to go back to Bellator and fulfill a contract and that contract ran out. I still have an existing contract with the UFC, but things change. The UFC, they sold the company since all that, so I don’t know.
“I haven’t talked to Dana personally about it. My manager Tiki Ghosn has been talking to him, but I think the UFC is doing great things for the company. They’re in a good place. I just don’t know what’s going to happen for me.”
If it were up to Jackson, his next fight might not even be in a cage at all.
“But now that Dana White is letting Conor McGregor box, I’ve always asked Dana to let me do some s**t like that,” Jackson continued. “Hopefully, Uncle Dana, if you got ties with boxing now, let me try some of that s**t.”
The other option that’s been on Jackson’s mind is a rematch with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Back in April 2005, Shogun defeated Jackson by first-round TKO in a memorable battle for Japan’s PRIDE promotion. According to Jackson, he had lingering injury woes heading into that bout and he regrets that he didn’t think things through more before going through with it.
“I would love to revenge my loss against ‘Shogun’ because that’s one loss that don’t sit well with me for personal reasons,” Jackson said. “I love ‘Shogun’ as a person, we get along great, but as a fighter I never should have taken that fight with my injury. I regret not backing out of that fight, I do. I was dumb back then. I was making cash money and I was just blowing through it, and I was living fight to fight. It was that street life.
“I fight injured a lot and sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t, but that fight I should have said, ‘Naw, naw, let me heal up.’”
Whatever is next, Jackson is looking to take a more patient approach to his career from now on. The former UFC light heavyweight champion will be 40 next June, and he feels like there are a few more battles to come for him.
“I think I got three good fights in me, then after that then I’ll see if I have three more good fights in me,” Jackson said. “I really would like to fight because in MMA, I feel like fighters can get old overnight. I’m 39 years old, I put 17 good years into this sport and my body has taken a toll. I think that I know how to train with injuries and stuff like that, and I’m training smarter. I still have enough juices and energy to entertain the fans, I love entertaining the fans.”
“My whole career I never dealt with the managerial s**t. I just like train and fight, f**k, play video games, play with my toys, play with my kids, that’s my life.”