Rampage Jackson practices crying wolf before UFC 114 - Jon Kopaloff
This Saturday, Pride and UFC legend Rampage Jackson fights for the last time in the UFC, or so he says. So why am I having such a hard time actually caring?
Stop me if you've heard this one before:
Quinton Jackson is done with the UFC. After this weekend's UFC on Fox 6 fight with Glover Teixeira, the former Light Heavyweight champion is walking away from the UFC, citing his frustrations over the way he's been treated by Dana White and company. Rampage is one of the sport's top stars - a former champion who has been involved in some of the highest drawing cards in company history. His departure from the UFC is huge news.
So why don't I care?
Perhaps it's because it all sounds so strangely familiar. Back in 2009, Rampage was, again, done with the UFC, and, in that instance, done with MMA entirely, as he officially retired from the sport. Why? Frustrations with how he was treated by the UFC. Here are Rampage's words from 2009:
I'm done fighting. I've been getting negative reviews from the dumb ass fans that don't pay my bills or put my kids though college. So I'm hanging it up. I'm gonna miss all my loyal fans but hopefully they'll follow me to my new career & I will gain more loyal fans along the way... I still feel the UFC is a great organization and I felt like I was very loyal to them but they didn't respect my loyalty but I wish the UFC the best. I did a lot of things for them.
That retirement lasted all of 8 months before Rampage was back in the ring against Rashad Evans.
Of course, Rampage is not the first person to pull this stunt. His old friend Tito Ortiz made a habit of it, retiring from MMA and being "officially done with the UFC" on multiple occasions. Most famously, Ortiz's 2008 fight with Lyoto Machida was hyped as his last inside the Octagon. Tito lost that fight and flirted with numerous other organizations, but when push came to shove, Tito Ortiz was right back in the UFC.
It's easy to draw parallels between Rampage's 2009 "retirement" and this 2013 departure, largely because Rampage draws those connections himself. According to Rampage, his current departure from the UFC stems from his perception that he's been mistreated, that he was injured heading into the Bader fight, and that they have not properly taken care of him. Which sounds an awful lot like what he had to say in 2009, when he complained about being injured for the Wanderlei Silva fight and the various ways the UFC had wronged him.
Perhaps I'm being cynical, but what do I think will come of this current snit? Nothing. Not a single thing. Rampage will fight Teixeira and, win or lose, he'll swear up and down that he's done. He'll consider boxing, he'll flirt with Bellator, he'll sit on the sidelines and pout for awhile, but at the end of the line, he'll be right back here in the UFC. Just like he was last time. And just like he probably will be again in the future.
So when Saturday night's fight is sold as Rampage's final UFC fight, please forgive me for not buying the hype. There are only so many times you can cry wolf before I stop listening. And right now I'm ignoring Rampage's cry.
Will this be Rampage's final fight in the UFC?
Yes (274 votes)
No (366 votes)
640 total votes