“I don’t know how much I ever loved the fight game, to be honest. Most fighters these days join fighting because they became a fan of it. When I started I wasn’t a fan of it — I’ve been a fighter my whole life. I just thought it was a blessing that God could give me something I could make money doing. When I was a kid I got tired of fighting. I didn’t want to be a fighter anymore. But I was just good at it. It was just something that was in my blood. Some people are fighters…I like it a lot less than I used to. It’s no secret, everybody knows about the falling out I had with the UFC, and it’s just unfortunate that they’re trying to blame me for doing this movie…They’ve said some things and done some things I don’t agree with — that’s not the way I do business. I’m a loyal person so I take care of people who take care of me, but people who don’t take care of me, I don’t take care of them. So I’m done with the UFC. They can’t ask me for anymore favors. Nothing. I just want to finish my contract and get out of there, do my own thing. Dana lied to me. He told me I didn’t have to fight Rashad, I could fight Machida. I did the show and then after that he told me I had to fight Rashad.”
If you’ve been following Rampage Jackson’s UFC career, especially in the last year or so, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s really not anything he hasn’t said in different words already, but it is rather odd to hear him say he thought he could fight Machida after the show. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, especially when you look back to what he said when TUF 10 was announced.
Jackson said he was given a choice of who he wanted to fight and picked Evans over the title shot:
“I had my mind set to fight Evans,” said Jackson. “I was actually there coaching (at UFC 98) trying to get him to win the fight. I want Evans he got in my face (at UFC 96), right after my fight. That was the wrong time to get in my face.”
Scratching your head? Yeah, me too. Was Rampage told what to tell the media back then? Was the entire Rampage-Rashad rivalry fabricated? I don’t know, but it doesn’t sound like the beef between Rampage, Dana and the UFC is over.