First off, let it be known on this day that the three most attractive female fighters in the world are Marlen Esparza, Marloes Coenen, and Tiffany Van Soest. I have declare as such, and therefore a debate is not needed nor will it be tolerated.
Okay now let's begin: Boxing is a sport long on brutal honesty, disappointment, dishonesty, and short on success, long lasting financial security, and physical well being long after one has hung up his or her pair of Grants. Even more of risk is an mma fighter venturing into the deep end so to speak, and taking up boxing as a secondary plunge into the fight game. Let's be clear: Boxers ought not try mixed martial arts on a high level unless done so at an early stage, and the same goes for mix martial artists looking to try their hand at boxing.
Boxing is the more difficult of the two combat sports. I've always said that anyone could pick up mixed martial arts, which makes it a more appealing sport of the two because it's essentially the more accessible and the more easier understood form of combat compared to boxing. Boxing isn't just throwing fists, it'd the art of hitting without getting hit, the noble yet violent form of poetic fisticuffs, one which demands years and years of focus through amateur tournaments, Olympic hopes, and for many, a professional career that promises more failure than glory. Very few boxers reach the zenith, far fewer than those in mma.
Just because you're a decorated amateur boxer doesn't mean you'll have a successful professional career. For every Mark Breland, who many consider the greatest American amateur boxer of all time, there's a Howard Davis Jr. Howard Davis was just as accomplished an amateur and Olympian as Mark Breland, but unlike Breland, Howard Davis failed in all three of his attempts at becoming world champion. First against Jim Watt for the WBC lightweight title in 1980, then against Edwin Rosario in 1984 for the same title once held by Watt, and finally against Buddy McGirt in 1988 for the IBF junior-welterweight crown.
Mark Breland's pro career turned out much different than Howard Davis'. Breland won the WBA welterweight title twice (1987, 1989), before losing to the underrated and former lineal welterweight champion (WBC/WBA/The Ring) Marlon Starling in August of 1987.
Before turning pro Breland won five consecutive New York Golden Gloves titles, as well as a gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where he was a member of one of the greatest US Olympic boxing squads in history, which included Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Virgill Hill, Frank Tate, and Evander Holyfield.
Every case is different of course but I would imagine if the road is hard for highly touted amateurs with over 100-200 wins on their record, national and international titles, and if they're blessed enough, a medal at the Olympics find it difficult to navigate the waters in boxing on the pro level one must assume Rampage Jackson is either playing a light mind to such a decision or he's truly ignorant of the cost, the dedication, and the level of skill required to perform in the boxing ring.
Boxers punch harder, faster, have better chins, have better reflex and stamina, are in many cases just as athletic if not more so, are more responsive to punches, and are more aware and more intelligent in the ring than mma fighters. Name me an mma fighter more savvy than Floyd Mayweather or Andre Ward; more mercilessly instinctive than Manny Pacquiao or Mike Tyson. Bottom line, just because Rampage has it out for the UFC doesn't mean he should allow himself to get hurt a lot worse in the ring than he would in the cage.
Fighting soda cans, water bottles, and plastic containers in an 800 seat sports complex in Tacoma, Washington is one thing, of which Kimbo Slice has found his niche. But if we know Rampage his ego won't let him settle for "Paid to show up, paid more to lose" plodders with graham cracker chins and 5-19 records won't satisfy said ego. He would want a little higher level of opposition.
Frank Shamrock said it best: The brain wasn't made to get hit. MMA fighters don't experience the kind of deadly accurate, concussive punches that boxers face everyday over a 20 year span through the amateur ranks to the pro ranks.
However I believe just as King Mo was using "I'll try Boxing" as a sort of attention grabber, Rampage will likely stay with the UFC, retire into film, or fight in Bellator against King Mo in a big money showcase fight for the promotion, the third being the most likely outcome.
Fighters mentioned in this post:
Mark Breland (former 2X WBA Welterweight Champion)
Howard Davis Jr.
Marlon Starling (former Lineal WBC/WBA/The Ring Welterweight Champion)
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion)
Meldrick "TNT" Taylor (former IBF Junior-Welterweight Champion, former WBA Welterweight Champion)
Virgil "Quicksilver" Hill (former Lineal Light Heavyweight Champion, former WBA Cruiserweight Champion)
Evander Holyfield (former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion, former Lineal Cruiserweight Champion, former Lineal/Undisputed Heavyweight Champion)
Frank Tate (former IBF Middleweight Champion)