Josh Gross starts an inevitable line of discussion:
(Jackson doesn't get famous)..without his achievements in MMA, of which there are many despite people close to Jackson (30-7) claiming over the years that he can be lazy in the gym and difficult to deal with. Both are true. Forget about training unless a fight is booked. He's the opposite of UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in this regard. And coming off a 14-month period filled with more days on set than on the mat, it's fine to wonder how serious Jackson is about MMA. If the fan favorite hasn't regressed as a mixed martial artist, he definitely hasn't progressed.
Does he care? Debatable. Yes, at his core Jackson is a fighter. But if he could get away from MMA, even after just re-upping with the UFC for six more fights, he says he would.
The article doesn't even lay out the crux of the situation: if the A-Team movie comes out on June 11th and makes a shitboat of cash on opening weekend, that'll be the last we see of Quinton Jackson ... until he inevitably blows all his money and has to crawl back to the sport. What happens when you put someone with that kind of mindframe (amongst others) up against a guy like Evans, who lives and breathes the sport and constantly improves under the eyes of Greg Jackson and that other unfortunately named Winklejohn guy?
Has starring in The A-Team movie affected your hunger for the fight game?
"I fight because I am good at it and I knew I could get so good I could buy my mother a car that don't break down and take care of my family. I didn't do it to get free drinks from strangers in bars. I was picked on a little at school and had to learn how to fight. Nothing is as important to me as my family but this sport is what I am good at and I got plans to knock a lot of people out yet."
Do you worry that time off filming the movie will make a difference to your abilities in the Octagon?
"I was ring-rusty against Keith Jardine and I may be in this fight in Las Vegas. That gives Rashad a tiny chance. Like 0.05 per cent. But don't go crazy and bet on Rashad."
Quinton Jackson has gotten by for years on sheer talent and bouts of serious training. But he's one of the less dedicated UFC champions in history. While I wouldn't wish Juanito Ibarra on the mother of a war criminal, I do believe he was the best trainer Rampage has had. I don't think he gets that caliber of training in England with the Wolfslair.
Rampage has a lot of advantages over Rashad, but preparation and desire may not be among them.