clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

‘Rampage’ Jackson’s top improvement for Chael Sonnen fight: ‘I cut out ketchup’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LOS ANGELES — Quinton Jackson will be basically clean this weekend. Of ketchup, that is.

“Rampage” said Wednesday at Bellator 192 media day that the top thing he has improved upon since his last fight was that he quit eating ketchup “cold turkey.” Ketchup, Jackson said, has been something of an obsession since he was young.

“The No. 1 thing I improved on is I cut out ketchup,” Jackson said. “You guys are laughing, but ketchup probably has been my worst enemy. I drown all my food in ketchup, every meal I have, and I finally cut it out.”

“Rampage” will fight Chael Sonnen in the main event Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. It is a first-round matchup in the Bellator World Heavyweight Grand Prix. Even though the bout carries a 265-pound limit, and Jackson fought nearly his whole career at 205, he said he still kept a strict diet this camp.

That meant no ketchup — or least only two tablespoons on a cheat day. Jackson said he did have some sugar withdrawals, but has gotten over it.

“I know I’m disciplined, I know that I’m really motivated to win, because I gave up ketchup,” Jackson said. “That’s something I really loved since I was a kid.”

Even ketchup on steak? No doubt, “Rampage” said.

“Damn right,” Jackson said. “Ketchup tastes good on steak. French fries. Steak and french fries — ketchup. Don’t get me started.”

Jackson, 39, said he isn’t sure how much he weighs heading into this fight, but he’s not in danger of being above the 265-pound maximum. “Rampage” weighed in against Muhammed Lawal last March at 253 pounds. If he’s near that mark Friday, he’ll likely have nearly a 40-pound advantage over Sonnen.

Despite that, Jackson said he’s in much better shape than he was in 2017 and he finally has treated correctly a thyroid issue that has plagued him over the last few years. “Rampage” said Sonnen doesn’t know what he’s getting into at Bellator 192.

“He has no idea,” said Jackson, who is now working with Ricky Hatton’s former boxing coach Bobby Rimmer. “Last time Bellator saw me, I was at a really bad shape and I’ve been training really hard since then.”

Sonnen is known for his wrestling and has vowed to put Jackson on the mat over and over again. “Rampage,” whose power striking is his best attribute, still doesn’t understand why he was matched up against another wrestler.

“I want to get in the cage and I want to entertain my fans,” Jacksno said. “I want to go out there and try to knock somebody out or get knocked out doing it. I don’t want to have to go out there and fight and be laying on my back the whole fight and have like a boring fight and the fans booing and stuff. I don’t know why promoters love fights like that. I don’t understand it. You only got a few more fights of me left. ‘Rampage’ fans, I’m only gonna fight a few more fights. Why wouldn’t you guys want to see me do what I like to do? I like to stand and bang with people. If they mess up, I’m gonna slam them.”

Even with the awkward style matchup, Jackson said he’s confident going in. Last month, he told Sonnen he’d give him $10,000 every time he lands a takedown. “Rampage” now is waiting to hear back about some reciprocation — Sonnen has to put something on the line, he said.

“I’m gonna hurt Chael’s feelings,” Jackson said. “First of all, I threw the bet out there, what’s in it for me? He should probably pay me if he can’t afford 10Gs, at least give me 5Gs for every takedown I defend. He hasn’t said nothing. He’s gotta check with his wife.”

In other words, Sonnen might have to play some catch up.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting