Put a microphone in front of Rampage Jackson's face and he'll do what he does best... Well, maybe make that second best. Actually, from what I hear, he's a pretty good Twitch streamer, so maybe 3rd best. Wherever you rank it, being good on the mic has always been one of Rampage's skills. He's always had a lot to say, and he's never been shy about saying it.
So, in a recent media scrum on the lead up to his Bellator Dynamite 2 fight against Satoshi Ishii, it's no surprise that he had plenty to talk about, especially when concerning his jump from the UFC back to Bellator. Jackson left the Viacom promotion on infamously poor terms, when he declared his previous contract void after claiming that Bellator had failed to meet their obligations to him. Before long he was back with the UFC and filing an injunction against Bellator to let him fight Fabio Maldonado at UFC 186. The injunction was granted, and Rampage won.
But that wasn't the end of his legal troubles. Now, a year later, he's back with Bellator and a new contract, his UFC deal already a thing of the past. Here's what he had to say to the assembled media about how the last year has gone for him:
"Yeah, you know, I'm not my own manager," Rampage told reporters, "I did my job, my job is to fight and entertain people. I'm not my own manager, so it's kinda tough. Sometimes, when things don't go according to what you've been told in the past... But, you know what? It looks like Bellator got rid of the bad apple; they got a new apple in there, so everything is all right. It's all brand new to me."
He also spoke about the upsides for fighting for Bellator now, in comparison with the UFC. Most specifically the UFC's new Reebok policy and his own focus on money fights over the UFC brand:
"The problem with MMA right now is that most people think that MMA is called UFC," Rampage said of being back with Bellator. "I know when I'm on my social media and I'll tag, like, "I'm fighting in Bellator," people will be like, "Why you going to Bellator? Why you going to Bellator?" Nothing against UFC, because I've had my differences with UFC, they're a great company. But, I would say some people's dream is to go to the UFC, but it's not everybody's dream, you know what I'm sayin'?
"I like the UFC, I like Bellator... Bellator I don't have to wear Reebok, you know what I'm sayin'? I'm happy that I'm not forced to wear a clothing brand that's not really benefitting me. That's one benefit to being in Bellator versus being in the UFC. But like I said, right now with all the new fighters, you can tell they're just fans that're coming in to fight. So, they don't know any better. That's their dream. The UFC's been around longer than Bellator, so that's probably their dream to go to the UFC. If that's their dream to go to the UFC and wear Reebok to make the UFC more money, then go ahead. Whatever makes you happy."
He talked about a lot more in the interview, including potential retirement plans, learning to train smarter, sponsorship opportunities, and his film career. So, check the whole thing out.