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A summary of Bas Rutten’s excellent interview with Rampage Jackson

By Zach Arnold | September 21, 2011

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Now this is the ‘old’ Rampage I used to hear during his PRIDE days when he would do interviews. Of course, I was producing a radio show during that time period when he had his rather… unique… story to tell about finding faith and cleaning up his act. Of course, trouble would soon follow after he signed with the UFC.

When Quinton Jackson respects you as a person, he gives a damn good interview. If he thinks you’re a clown or someone he can bully, he gets preoccupied with mocking you rather than focusing on answering what you ask. Extremely temperamental but when he’s on, he’s on.

“People, they hear me say stuff but they don’t feel what I say. Everybody needs money to make the world go around, you know what I’m saying?”

BAS RUTTEN: “What has changed the most for you since PRIDE?”

RAMPAGE JACKSON: “I got less Asian groupies…(laughter)

“I think my privacy changed a lot, I have less privacy. Like, in MMA you never know who knows you and I go to a restaurant or a place, you never know who be paying attention and then later at the end of your conversation with your friend they’ll ask you a question about Dana White or UFC or something. That’s like the most shocking thing, but you know what? The police… before, honestly, growing up in the neighborhood I grew up in… I really didn’t have much for the police. Now the police are nice to me and stuff and it’s different and that’s really important, you know, like to get pulled over the police and instead of being nervous and stuff like that. Honestly, people don’t understand, I’ve been threatened to been beaten by the police before, the police have threatened to beat my ass before so I never had a good encounter with them. So, now the police pull me over and they notice, like I don’t tell them but (if) they recognize then I’m like, they really nice and so they’re cool. If I deserve a ticket, they still give me a ticket. They treat me like a regular person most of the time but it’s cool not to be afraid and worried about (it)…”

There are three video clips and they are all extremely worthy of watching. In fact, the time will breeze right by as you’re watching them. The emotional and charisma here is off the charts.

After Rampage got done talking about how nice the police treat him right, he was asked about why we haven’t seen him do the ‘Rampage slam’ in the UFC. His answer, in short, is that opponents have wised up on how to defend it (including Wanderlei Silva). He has some interesting comments about Wanderlei the person and his behavior.

Bas then asked him a question that made Rampage very wistful for the old days of PRIDE…

BAS RUTTEN: “The peak of PRIDE or the peak right now with the UFC, if you have to choose an event where to fight what would you do?”

RAMPAGE JACKSON: “Man, I tell you, honestly, I miss those PRIDE rules. I miss the fans where you could hear your corner men, you know, that’s important, we forget how important it is. If I had to choose, I would pick PRIDE. The energy that the Japanese fans bring when that song comes on. That’s why I came out to the PRIDE song my last fight because the energy that it brought me but the fans are different so the energy wasn’t 100% there. The Japanese fans I have to honestly say they bring a different energy to the fight and I really like that energy that they bring. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, but in my opinion I would rather fight in front of the Japanese.”

BAS RUTTEN: “I’ll tell you what it is. You fight more relaxed in front of them and the reason is that they don’t care if you win or lose as long as you fight.”

RAMPAGE JACKSON: “Exactly! That’s what it is.”

BAS RUTTEN: “They changed me as a fighter.”

Rampage put over Jon Jones as the future of MMA and didn’t say anything bad about him. He also had kind words to say about Mauricio Shogun and why they haven’t had a rematch sooner…

“I’ll tell you, like, the main reason why I turned down this fight with Shogun recently is because, you know what I’m saying, I was overweight, I wasn’t training for my fight. It happens, you know what I’m saying, it’s one of my hang-ups, one of my flaws. When I fought Shogun the first time, I came in with a really bad ankle injury where I couldn’t run and get my cardio because I really didn’t have a sparring partner, I had to hire sparring partners back then and I hired this clown who would when I come to punch him he would throw low ankle kicks and dislocated my ankle. And I’m paying the guy, I’m paying the guy to hurt me. I fired him and never used him again. So, I’m trying to hang with these top strikers, you know, because back then I didn’t have people… it always haunted me that I couldn’t, you know, fight at 100% or close to 100% Shogun and I went out there with a stupid game plan, 10 minute rounds, knew I didn’t have cardio and I was going to take it slow and, you know, fight my fight and he just jumped on me. So, I said in my mind like I know I’ll get a rematch with him one day and I want to be close to 100% and I want to fight the fight that I originally planned on fighting the first time when I was training for him. So, that’s why I couldn’t take the fight with Shogun.

“I got all the respect for Shogun. He’s a nice guy, you know, he never says anything disrespectful about me. He’s a great fighter and I could tell in his last fight (against Forrest Griffin) he was rusty, it was a good chance that I probably could have done great against him but I wouldn’t have even made the weight. So, I want to fight Shogun when it’s time.”

The end of part one features Rampage talking about his ‘Larry David moment’ when Mark Wahlberg & a friend showed up in Beverly Hills in a Bentley and keep harassing Rampage as to what he was doing in that neighborhood.

In part two, Rampage explained why he thinks 50 Cent should portray him if a movie was made. Bas asked him whether or not he cries at movies. Rampage admitted that he tears up when watching American Idol. Which led to this moment…

“The last time I was in Japan for this A-Team tour, I got interviewed by this guy and he said he was a fan from PRIDE and he gave me an interview that brought me in tears. I had to stop the interview because, and this was right before the Machida fight, and… he’s like, basically, told me like, ‘hey, in Japan, you used to fight different, we used to call you the Samurai, you had Samurai spirit, but now in UFC you don’t seem like you have that spirit any more,’ and it brought back so many memories and I used to call myself kokujin samurai desu, Black Samurai, and I remember that! I remember I used to act like a samurai. I had video ups with a samurai wig.

“I was thinking, whoa, what type of fighter am I now? Because when I came into the UFC, I started making more money… and more pressure, yeah.”

He then proceeded to talk about what his acting career will be like when he winds down his career as a fighter.

Rampage elaborated on his childhood heroes (B.A., Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage). Bas asked him three things to name on his Bucket List. His first and immediate response was threesome, but he made sure to elaborate that he wanted two women at the same time and not a second guy involved.

Bas asked Rampage how he wanted everyone to remember him after his time on Earth is finished.

“I want to be remembered as the, you know, Quinton the Entertainer, the one who, you know what I’m saying, and brought (it) when the fight came out and I want to be remembered as the guy who, you know, the entertainer, the guy who brought the fight to the fight, the guy who was no-nonsense in the cage, in the ring, whatever, just came to fight, all about putting on a great show no matter what, you know what I’m saying… I just want to be remembered like the fun guy, you know what I’m saying.

“I’m just saying this today, we was talking about it while we were doing some sprints, while we was warming up, we was talking about some funerals and stuff and I was talking about at my funeral, I want people to have a party. I want to do like a video clip and some time before I die, I don’t know when… I want to have a video clip and I want to make the whole funeral laugh, you know what I’m saying, I want them, you know, like… have a good time and like remember all the fun I had and I brought to the world and try to make people laugh all the time. That’s what I want to be remembered, I’m not a real serious guy all the time, I’m only serious when it’s time to be serious. Other than that, I just like to have fun.”

I would strongly recommend you watching all three interview clips. They’re too good to fully transcribe, so watch them. I thought Bas did a really solid job. Thumbs up.

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 19 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

19 Responses to “A summary of Bas Rutten’s excellent interview with Rampage Jackson”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Based on Quinton Jackson’s recent interviews (including this one)…. I think he is absolutely clueless of what he is going to run into when he fights Jon Jones. He really has no clue he is about to get beat up to a bloody pulp….

    I don’t like Rampage, so I like how he is going to be surprised….

    • Jason Harris says:

      Rampage has become one of those guys who coasts by on natural talent and doesn’t bother training hard because he doesn’t want to. Combine that with the complete lack of killer instinct in his fights anymore, and his chances of not getting beat up on Saturday are super low.

      Ever since he moved over to the Wolfslair gym where they treat him like a celebrity instead of kicking his ass, his career has fallen off.

      • Alan Conceicao says:

        You mean like when his career was taking off into the stratosphere after that second loss to Wanderlei? Because up until the Lindland fight, a lot of people were thinking he was washed up then.

        He’s just an inconsistent fighter.

  2. david m says:

    I saw the full hour preview show last night; Rampage looks really thick and strong; seems to be training quite hard while living in the MusclePharm training center. I wish I had an idea of who he is sparring with, but from a strength and conditioning standpoint, he looked to be tip-top. Nothing would make real mma fans mark out more than seeing him beat down Jones’ arrogant ass.

    I am torn between wanting to see Jones get beat down, and between wanting to see Jones vs Rashad, which would be the fight with the greatest back story/buildup in mma history. By a wide margin.

    • Jason Harris says:

      “Nothing would make real mma fans mark out more than seeing him beat down Jones’ arrogant ass.”

      Apparently “real mma fans” like guys who say they don’t like fighting anymore and are only coasting by for paychecks until their movie career takes off. Not like those “arrogant” guys who are training hard every day because they want to be a champion.

      • david m says:

        You can put arrogant in quotes all you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that Jones is probably the cockiest, most insincere fighter I’ve ever seen. He is an unbelievable talent and a joy to watch, but he is beyond disingenuous.

        Rampage is who real mma fans should cheer for (and note that real here is used to refer to not only depth of fanhood, but also length of time watching the sport) because this is probably his last chance to get a title shot, and because he doesn’t pretend to be perfect like Jones. Seeing Rampage dish out a beating to someone so cocky and fake would be tremendous. Jones has many years ahead of him; Page doesn’t.

        • edub says:

          Many people have the opinion you do David M.

          But that doesn’t make it right, and certainly doesn’t make it reasonable. You call Jones fake and cocky one sentence; then talk about how people want to cheer on a guy who does nothing but make excuses for losses, cry about being a movie star, and claims he’s “reinvented” or “reinvigorated” once every two years.

          There are plenty of long time fans who don’t give two shits about Rampage getting another title, and laugh at people who dislike Jones for skeptical reasons.

        • jon says:

          Here’s the thing David, it’s ok to like whoever you like. One could argue that a person is being disengenious when they perform their job below what they are capable of. People could argue that it’s disengenious to act like a paradoy of a racial stereotype when you are an articulate rich man. Your arguement consists of time. Rampage had a shot lined up for a title, turned it down and proceded to blame everyone for his missed opportunities instead of taking responsibility for his actions.

          Jones, is a 24 year old boy. Is he cocky? Definetly, would I be any different if I could perform what he can and has in a very short period of time? No. In fact, at my chosen profession I can be very prideful when it comes to what I have accomplished.

          I have been a fan from UFC 1 and I want to see a good fight. Regardless of who wins. That’s all that I can ask for as fa as a fan perspective.

          That’s not to say I am not rooting for one over the other but this is MMA and anything can happen when two people come into a prize fighting match.

      • david m says:

        Edub I don’t really see how it is “unreasonable” to cheer against someone who is incredibly disingenuous, or to cheer on an old timer and a true pioneer of the sport who is on potentially his last title run.

        • edub says:

          The fact that you call him disingenuous so liberally (when he’s really never done anything to merit that), and don’t use the same terms to describe Rampage when he has undoubtedly made statements far from reality in the past.

          Jones is a cornball (for lack of a better term). But that doesn’t mean he’s faker than Rampage, Anderson, or any other fighter who likes to present a certain image to the public.

          I understand the dislike for him, though.

        • david m says:

          I disagree with you about JJ not doing anything to merit being called disingenuous. I would say everything that has come out of his mouth is fake. From the way he took Rashad’s fight and then said he used to beat Rashad down in training, to the way he feigns being humble, it is all a schpiel. He is see-through. From the arrogant way he won’t even look at his opponents to how he clearly has no respect for anyone. He has actually turned me into a Rashad fan. Too much hype too soon.

          I don’t know why you say Rampage is fake; he is crazy, but fake is not something I have ever heard anyone call him. Even Rashad said that Rampage off camera is exactly the same as he is on camera, but that Jones by comparison is nothing on camera like he is off camera.

        • edub says:

          You have no idea what Jones is like off camera.

          Jon Jones took the fight with Shogun because it was the biggest opportunity of his life. He would have been stupid not to. Rashad is the one who blew the whole frenzy out of proportion when he decided to take one little quote in an interview, and use it as an excuse to fight Jones. The whole quote was about him not wanting to fight Evans, and one line about fighting him if he got fired.

          Rampage changes yearly. One point he’s training hard and putting his all into fighting. Next he thinks he’s underpaid, and wants to leave to do something else. He has an excuse for everyone one of his losses, even when at first he appears to take them like a man (Forrest Griffin fight, Machida fight, Rashad fight).

  3. frndlylion says:

    Bas is great. He obviously gets along awesome with Rampage and the interview goes very well. A relaxed Rampage is good to see before one of the toughest fights of his life. He looks in shape and reports are that he came in for camp in as good or better shape as ever. Everyone better not blink. This could be over very quickly.

  4. idonthugnuts says:

    I’m tired of people getting bent out of shape about Rampage being honest about liking money and hating training. Anyone who has done ANY amount of training knows the grind of the routine sucks. And the money IS the motivation. He likes the fight but you would have to be an idiot to take the beating these guys take along with the training commitments if there wasn’t money involved. I love my job but it has nothing to do with honor etc, I’m good at it, I don’t hate it, and it pays me well. He cant fight forever, there’s a small window for athletes, and he has to make as much as he can within these few years his body will allow.

  5. Awesome interview! Thank you for posting, Zach.

    The fact that Rampage is even getting a LHW Title fight shows how shallow the division is. Shogun (who I love) is SO injury prone, Rashad is great but should realistically be at MW because of his size, and Machida seems to not want to fight anymore.

    Who’s left? Is Jon Jones going to defend against Tito Ortiz next?

    Aside from the laugh-out-loud Middleweight Division, LHW might be the thinnest at the moment.

  6. darkmader says:

    So now Vitor is out. That was at one point the main event too.

    We had maybe 6x more pullouts on big events than other years in all of the UFC. Well of course.

    Insurance is the deal. They always say that no fighter fights 100%. But now that they got free medical look at the past 6 months. I’m all for it for sure.

    I just wonder how 2012 will be. So no more facebook we will put in on fuel?!??!?! who in the fuck has that?

    Only 4 shows on Fox. Who cares about the ultimate fighter but, this years buy rates have been horrible, but they just blame that on the injuries…….. yes, but I say they are running too many shows too.

    Jon Bone Jones is not a draw. If next year Brock retires and GSP tears an acl or something and is out the whole year the UFC is in big big trouble.

  7. [...] Bas Rutten a couple of weeks ago in his HDNet interview where he brought up a Japanese interviewer saying that the UFC version of Rampage is totally different than the PRIDE version. The message? The PRIDE version of Rampage didn’t care about wins or losses but rather [...]

  8. [...] this exchange from an interview Bas Rutten did with Quinton Jackson in [...]

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