Remember two months ago when I told you the UFC should cut Rampage Jackson after he went on a Twitter tirade against the company?
I still believe that to be true. Even Dana White saying he would allow Jackson to leave after he fulfilled the final fight on his contract hasn't stopped the popular light heavyweight from continuing his anti-UFC campaign. Jackson went on HDNet's Inside MMA earlier this week and reiterated that he'd be leaving the UFC after his next fight. He also criticized them for booking him against wrestlers rather than dudes who would willingly exchange punches.
Until today, White took the high road in responding to Jackson. But as he told the media after today's UFC on FOX press conference in New York City, he's growing just a little bit tired of Jackson's antics:
Rampage is obviously not happy with the UFC. No big deal brother. You don’t want to be here anymore. The way I always look at it is, we have this mutual relationship with the fighters. Do we always see eye to eye? Do we always get along? Whatever the deal might be. As far as money goes, everybody needs to make more money. That is human nature.
And you want to talk about a guy that we went to bat for? We’ve gone to bat for him many times. I feel like [expletive] Jeter when it comes to Rampage, OK? If he’s unhappy with us, doesn’t like us, and doesn’t want to be with us anymore? Then the feeling is mutual.
I'm not sure if White plans on cutting Rampage immediately, or if he'll make him do the final fight on his contract.
But there's one thing I do know. Jackson's complaint that the UFC makes him face wrestlers is ludicrous. Yes, he faces wrestlers. But that's what happens when you're near the top of the division. You don't get paid huge amounts of money to face hand-picked opponents that are easier to knock out. When you reach the level Jackson did—and he reached that level by being one of the best light heavyweights in the sport—you have to face the best guys out there, and that list of people will inevitably include wrestlers.
Out of Jackson's 11 UFC fights, I only see four guys who are primarily wrestlers: Rashad Evans, Matt Hamill, Jon Jones and Ryan Bader. Dan Henderson does have a wrestling background, but he rarely uses it these days. And Jon Jones beat Jackson everywhere the fight took place, not just on the mat.
Jackson has always been one of my favorite fighters to watch, so it's sad to see him going out this way. But I do agree with White. If Jackson really doesn't want to be there any more, it's time to send him packing.
Jeremy Botter is a Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.
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