By Zach Arnold | September 21, 2011
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.