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Rampage Jackson reveals breaking point with Dana White, UFC

Quinton Rampage Jackson made millions in his six-plus years in the UFC, but it appears his breaking point wasn’t over money, but over Dana White being critical about him to reporters when he failed to make weight for his UFC 144 fight with Ryan Bader. He talked s*** about me not making weight, said Jackson on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani on Monday. That’s when I decided I was going to leave the UFC. Jackson had over the next year insisted that when his contract was up, after his next fight (which ended up on Jan 26 in Chicago, a loss to Glover Teixeira), he was gone. He said that he didn’t even consider the offer UFC made to sign him to a new deal, even though at the time, he had no idea the Bellator/Spike/TNA offer was coming. I knew I wasn’t happy with UFC, he said. I haven’t been happy for a long time. I did a lot of smart investments, saved my money up, worked on rehabbing my knees. I knew I was going to get out of there. I knew I was going to bounce. The one thing he seemed the most unhappy about was the UFC’s change when it came to allowing sponsors, a subject other fighters have brought up as well. Unlike in the past when fighters were relatively free to get whatever sponsors they could, with some minor restrictions, now sponsors have to pay UFC a significant amount of money for the right to then sponsor fighters. Fighters have complained that it leaves less money in the sponsors’ budgets to go to the fighters, and takes smaller companies that can’t afford the so-called sponsor tax, out of the game. I’m in a lot better place, he said. It’s hard to explain. When you’re sweating tears and they won’t let you have sponsors, they tax the sponsors, you want to make a movie, The A-Team, a lot of people were up for that role, I felt like I was trying to further my career. You can’t fight forever. I took a lot of heat for that. The UFC didn’t see the big picture. Bellator said, ‘We’ll get you movies. We’ll get you sponsors. It’s better for the brand and it’s better for the sport.’ Still, Jackson had mixed emotions in hindsight about his decision to take The A-Team gig in late 2009, noting that UFC had scheduled a show in his home city of Memphis that was originally planned for his fight with Rashad Evans coming off the highest rated season ever of The Ultimate Fighter. He pulled out of the show when he got the B.A. Baracus role that Mr. T made iconic, in the movie. While UFC ran a successful event, UFC 107, headlined by B.J. Penn defending the lightweight title against Diego Sanchez, having Jackson headline would have made the Memphis debut significantly bigger. Jackson noted that he doesn’t think Dana White misses him not being in the company, even though Jackson, even after three straight losses, was still one of the bigger stars and most recognizable fighters on the roster. I doubt he’ll miss me at all, said Jackson. I think I was a thorn in UFC’s side for awhile. I did everything to fix the relationship. I was wrong doing The A-Team movie and pulling out of the show in Memphis. I know I messed up for doing that. That’s why I didn’t pull out of that fight in Japan (February 26, 2012, against Ryan Bader) when I was injured. I thought I could beat Bader even with an injury. While he doesn’t have any exact timetable regarding when he’s going to fight, other than it’ll be before the end of this year, or when he’s going to do pro wrestling, he’s got a number of other things going on. He revealed he’s looking at opening a bar. He’s trying to pitch an MMA movie to Paramount, which he’s written with a role he can star in. He’s working on writing a second movie. And he has a reality show coming soon to Spike that was talked about last week when the deal was announced. If I do a reality show, it’ll have to be a real reality show, he said. I can’t do a scripted reality show. He noted that there may be things he’d do during a day for the reality show that he may not have done on those days, but he doesn’t want anyone telling him what to do or say. While he wouldn’t give a time frame on the show, which hasn’t started filming yet. Spike had indicated the show would air in the weeks leading to his first fight. It’ll promote my fights, but it’s not like The Ultimate Fighter, he said. We will have some training I’m sure, but a lot of other stuff. I’m not only a fighter. I have to train to be a pro wrestler, so it will have me learning how to hit the ropes and take the falls. My life is really like a reality show, you guys just don’t know it. As far as MMA goes, Jackson noted he’s not in fight training, but has been in Mexico to get away from the Southern California scene, and some of his friends, who he called party animals. Instead, he’s taken a few training partners across the border to sharpen up. I got me a place in Mexico, it’s a two-hour drive, there’s a nice MMA gym and a nice weight gym. Me and a couple of teammates, we go there and have a good time. I’m working on getting my Muay Thai back up to par, and wrest…

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