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Rampage Jackson Threatens UFC Exit, Dana White Unsure of Future

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Quinton "Rampge" Jackson let loose a stream of consciousness in Tweet form, eventually saying that he would be done fighting for the UFC after his next bout.

Just a few hours prior to that, UFC president Dana White had spent about 90 minutes on the phone with Jackson, with whom he's had an up-and-down relationship over the years. According to White, the conversation didn't start well but seemed to get better as it went along. From his perspective, all was fine when he hung up, only to later discover what the rest of the world was seeing, that Jackson was unhappy with the promotion.

"I think that by the time we got off the phone, I thought that we were in a good place," White said on Tuesday afternoon. "I thought that we had worked it out. But you know, by his tweets [Tuesday], you just don’t know with him."

Asked if he thought Jackson was serious in his promise to leave the UFC, White shrugged his shoulders.

"You never know," he said.

The 33-year-old Jackson was a bit cryptic on his differences with the UFC, writing at one point that he has "other things" on his mind, but later more specifically writing that UFC stands for "u fight cheap." Of course, this isn't the first time he's railed against his own promotion, as back in September 2009, he briefly quit, citing a multitude of reasons for the decision before reversing course.

He's also been notoriously hard on himself upon losing fights, and this latest outburst comes little more than a week after his most recent defeat in a decision loss to Ryan Bader at UFC 144.

It also came coupled with two other issues, one self-made, and the other stemming from his career. In the first, Jackson recently admitted in an interview with Fighters Only that he had been prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. In the second, he came under scrutiny from White for the way he's approached the most recent part of his career.

In the recent Fighters Only interview, Jackson said after suffering a knee injury, he visited at least two doctors, and the second -- an "age-management doctor," prescribed him testosterone after diagnosing him with low levels.

White called into question some of the veracity of the interview, recounting a negative experience in Australia with one of the publication's reporters, whom he felt was trying to bait him. To be fair, White's interview and the Jackson interview were done by two different journalists. On the other hand, Fighters Only did remove at least one of Jackson's quotes from the interview, and Jackson contradicted himself in at least one key area, namely where within a few sentences of each other, he first said that "my doctor works for the UFC," and then said he "told my doctor not to tell the UFC but he told them anyway."

White did confirm that Jackson did recently begin undergoing the therapy, but didn't have any further details, saying that he found out about it while in Australia for the UFC on FX 2 show, and that UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta took the lead on that situation.

As for White's words towards Jackson, it was clear from his voice that there was no anger towards him but a sense of uncertainty over his current disposition and what is to come.

"I think Rampage takes his losses hard," he said. "And I think that’s what he’s going through. He’s not a big fan of criticism, either. I mean that in a serious way. He can’t handle criticism. He was pissed off at me because I said I don’t think he’s taking his career as serious as he has in the past, since the [Rashad] Evans fight. And he was f---ing pissed about that. And he’s like, ‘What you said about me...’ And I said, ‘I didn’t say you were a f---ing scumbag.’ And he said, ‘I’d rather you said that than what you did say.’ So he takes criticism hard, he takes his losses hard, and he’s going through what Rampages goes through after a loss."

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