Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is living up to his nickname by going on one, accusing the UFC of mistreating and underpaying fighter to denying him the ability to wear Reebok products in the cage.
Jackson (32-10) will be leaving the UFC after his Jan. 26 matchup with Glover Teixeira and he isn’t going quietly. In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Jackson said, “[The UFC] offered to renegotiate the contract but I didn’t want to. I don’t want to renegotiate with them. I think the UFC don’t know how to treat their athletes, in my opinion. The fighters, I feel like we do a lot for this sport and I just feel like we’re not taken care of. I feel like they’re getting rich off of us. We’re all having surgeries and stuff like that. Some of these guys can’t even afford to pay sparing partners. Some guys fight for $10,000 or $20,000. That ain’t right, man. . . I want to go somewhere they take care of their fighters and treat us like human beings.”
He says money isn’t the only reason behind his departure.
“It’s not just about money, it’s about respect,” he says.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion claims the UFC prohibits him from wearing gear from his sponsor, Reebok.
“Other fighters are sponsored by Nike and stuff, so why can’t I wear Reebok,” he asked.
Heavyweight Junior dos Santos, for example, donned Nike apparel into the cage for his UFC 155 rematch with Cain Velasquez last month.
“We work with apparel companies from all over the world through our approved partnership program,” a UFC spokesperson said. ”We’ve not yet been approached by Reebok on behalf of Rampage, but welcome the conversation. We do everything we can to support our athletes getting these types of sponsorships and will continue to do so moving forward.”
Jackson, 34, says his experience with the premier mixed martial arts promotion “turned me into a very negative person. I just want to be a positive person. I got to get rid of all the negativity in my life. . . No matter what the outcome is on Jan. 26, I’m going to be happy for everything. . . I’ve trained to destroy him, and then leave the UFC to leave on a positive note and let the UFC be my past.”
He didn’t mention any specifics for his future but suggested the possibility of working more in the film industry [he’s appeared in the movie The A-Team and has two films in post-production] and, perhaps, a professional boxing stint.
“There’s nothing going on right now. I’m just concentrating on this fight. This fight is very important for me. I’ve put my time in. I did my thing. . . Maybe I want to try some boxing. . . I’ve done, jujitsu tournaments, wrestling tournaments, kickboxing fights but I’ve never been a boxer.”
- Melissa Segura