Rampage Jackson

“I just found out. Rampage first and foremost is a friend of ours and we really like Rampage…I am not going to get into the battle of who did what for who and all that stuff. We’ve done a lot for him and yes he has been there and fought. The guys come in here and that’s what they do, they fight. They are fighters. We give them fights and they make money, and we make money and that’s the way it works…Rampage is a grown man. He is acting like a baby right now but he is a grown man. If he wants to be in the movie business, Rampage, good luck to you man. I hope you make it big, and I am not being sarcastic, because Rampage Jackson is a guy that I actually like and Rampage Jackson is a guy that I know doesn’t always make the best decisions. I hope the movie thing works out for him, if that is what he truly wants to do and what he thinks his career is, I wish him all the luck in the world. I like Rampage, I have no ill will towards him whatsoever…We’ve got no problems. We are in the fight business, we make fights, that’s what we do. There’s always guys that are injured, guys that have conflicting dates, stuff comes up, movie roles… there is something every day…I have said this for years, there is one thing guaranteed when I get out of bed: bad stuff is going to happen today. It happens every day and its my job to deal with it.”

—Dana White, on The Carmichael Dave Show via Fighters Only, reacting to the open letter Rampage Jackson published on his official site yesterday effectively announcing his retirement

That definitely wasn’t the response I was expecting from DW. It sounds like he doesn’t have any problems whatsoever with Rampage’s retirement. Maybe he thinks Rampage will come back eventually like a lot of people do? Maybe the UFC will just skip the small talk and go after him legally? I don’t know, but at this point, it doesn’t sound like Dana is too interested in throwing a bunch of money at him to keep him, though it could be a different story behind closed doors.

Rashad Evans also weighed in on the situation.

I think that him coming out and saying stuff like that was a bit premature. He’s jumping the gun a little bit. Rampage is a very emotional fighter, a very emotional person, and he just let his emotions take over his rational thinking. I think that him and Dana White just probably need to talk it out, and get past it. I think it’s just a breakdown in communication…Dana’s the kind of guy who is going to say what is on his mind, maybe without thinking it through all the way, before he said. Rampage is a hothead, as well. You get two tempers like that, go at each other like that, it makes the situation hard to work through…I’d be disappointed not to fight him. It would be a good fight, a fun fight, but mostly because he talked trash. He got me really angry, and I want to fight him just because of that alone. It’s a fight that people want to see. You get your mind wrapped up, and you get your mind so psyched up about fighting a fighter, and then it doesn’t happen, it’s disappointing…That’s why I hate making a fight personal. At the end of the day, we’re professional athletes, and we get paid to do a job. But when you get to fight someone you really want to fight, that’s like a bonus. You’d almost do it for free.

As disappointing as it is for Rashad, he’s still makes his living by fighting, so he has no choice but to move on to a different fight, and he already has someone in mind, Thiago Silva. Rashad told MMA Fanhouse that Silva will likely be his next opponent either in December or early 2010 which makes UFC 108 a very likely candidate. It’s not Rampage-Rashad, but I suppose it will have to do.