Former UFC light heavyweight champ and current Bellator fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is hinting at retirement. The news comes hot on the heels of Bellator's announcement that Viacom and founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney are parting ways.
Jackson took to Instagram to reflect on his time with the long-defunct Pride FC and possibly send a warning shot off Viacom's bow:
The1st time Chuck and I fought was in Japan. Pride reps asked me 2 give him a good beating even tho I had 2 fights that night. I lost my 2nd fight that night cause I did what they asked,and they stood up the fight with Wand to soon,in my opinion.. MMA hasn't had my back they way I had it's back. Time for me to think about retirement. Or fighting 4 myself..
Jackson is referencing his bouts at Pride Final Conflict 2003. The card featured the semifinals and finals to the 2003 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix, which saw Jackson face fellow MMA legend Chuck Liddell and score a win via corner stoppage. Not long after, he took on Wanderlei Silva in the finals.
As Jackson referenced, the bout saw Jackson take Silva down, only to be stood back up due to inactivity. The stand-up has long been referenced as an example of Pride attempting to steer the outcome of fights and has been repeatedly pointed to by Jackson as evidence of this. After the stand-up, Silva would get Jackson in a muay thai clinch and knock him out with knees.
While Jackson is still sore about events from 11 years ago, as stated, this turn is likely rooted in Rebney's removal from Bellator. Jackson has praised Rebney throughout his time with Bellator, a surprising development which came after a career spent feuding with promotional brass in the UFC and Pride.
Whether Jackson is seriously mulling retirement or this is simply a knee-jerk reaction is unknown at this time. However, while many are anticipating Rebney's departure to be well-received by most Bellator fighters, it seems like the promotion's biggest star might not be on board.
Stick with Bleacher Report for more details as they become available.