Even since his UFC 144 loss to Ryan Bader, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's relationship with the Ultimate Fighting Championship hasn't been the same. Jackson feels he has been mistreated by the UFC, and he isn't happy with the promotion's fans either.
"After I leave the UFC, I'm done with them! Just like when I left PRIDE," Rampage Jackson said during an appearance on Inside MMA. "I fought for PRIDE, and I fought the way I fought to put butts in seats. I took risks, slammed people and stuff like that. PRIDE did a good job. They built me up. … That's the way you're supposed to do it. Now, the UFC, I was a better fighter when I came there. My second fight, they throw me to Chuck Liddell. The fans didn't know who I was. I knocked him out, the fans booed me. That changed me, who I am towards the fans. I used to be the nicest guy towards fans. My first time getting booed. How are you gonna boo somebody for knocking somebody out? But I got a whole other opinion on that."
I've never really been a big fan of the way the UFC treats some of their athletes, but I don't think Jackson has legitimate claim. If anything, Jackson has been given preferential treatment by the UFC over the years.
MMA fans who watched the first fight between Jackson and Liddell, knew that he was capable of dethroning the long-time face of the UFC, yet, the promotion was willing to give him a title shot in his UFC debut. Jackson actually declined the offer, electing to fight Marvin Eastman instead.
The UFC stood behind Jackson when he went on a rampage in California (taking police officers on a high-speed chase), a privilege most fighters on the promotion's roster don't get to enjoy. They worked with him during his stint in Hollywood, giving him the opportunity to work his way back towards another title shot.
I do get where Jackson is coming from when it comes to the fans, but irrational behavior is pretty typical of UFC crowds. Many of the UFC's superstars have been booed following excellent performances, and it doesn't excuse Jackson's recent behavior.
Anton Gurevich, "Rampage Jackson criticizes the UFC for "boring wrestlers" match-ups"
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.