The era of Rampage slamming his opponents to the canvas with force enough to crack your TV set may have come and gone, but the former Pride and UFC 205 king says he’s still got it. Rampage caught up with Yahoo Sports in an exclusive interview and explained how he will be getting his belt back.
I still think I can win my title back, and I still think I can even win it back from Jon Jones, but I would have to execute the game plan. Jones was very good on the night; he did what he had to with style and stopped me doing what I needed to do. Respect to him, but I still want my belt back before I retire. I will always think of that belt as mine, even when I’m an old, bald wrinkled ass man. I’m very, very proud of unifying that UFC belt with the PRIDE belt and for that reason a little bit of me will always think of that belt as belonging to me.
Some haters have said now that I didn’t get my belt back after three years of waiting for my shot, I’m not going to be motivated in my fighting career. That is what my English friends call “bollocks”. I am very motivated to kick Bader’s ass. I was a little pissed off and disappointed that I didn’t get my belt back and I was upset with my performance. I’m going to take that out on Ryan Bader and – in front of the Japanese fight fans – put on a great fight.
The truth is Rampage isn’t getting any younger, and his past few performances haven’t been exactly riveting. The poor fellow hasn’t finished a fight since 2008, and his last two wins weren’t exactly what we have come to expect from Mr. Jackson. A split-decision win over Machida that was no wider than a razor’s edge left half the viewers clamoring for a mistrial, and his fight with Hamill can only be described as Snoozefest: 2011. I hope to see Rampage come to form as he did when he shattered The Iceman or hacked The Axe Murderer to bits.
All signs point to this being Rampage’s last real run at a title, and with Jon Jones sitting on the 205 mountain peak, it’s going to have to be one for the books. At least it’s going down in Japan; if ever there was a place to start the story-book come back, that would have to be the number one place to do it. Bader poses a real threat to Rampage. A solid wrestling game coupled with youth, pure power, and cardio to boot are all stacked against Jackson, as he enters this fight with Bader.
Image via Sherdog