Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson wrote on his blog today at rampage-jackson.com that he is done with fighting.
Jackson cites his new acting career as part of the reason and goes on to talk about his career in the UFC from his fight with Chuck Liddell forward. Here's a piece:
I'm not like Randy Couture. My body has been getting so many different injuries that I wont be able to fight until my forties & neither do I want to fight that long. So I feel like my second career could be in jeopardy.. so I'm done fighting. I've been getting negative reviews from the dumb ass fans that don't pay my bills or put my kids though college. So I'm hanging it up. I'm gonna miss all my loyal fans but hopefully they'll follow me to my new career & I will gain more loyal fans along the way. & all you hater fans out there can kiss my big black hairy ass! & anybody that don't like what I just said can come try to kick my ass!
I still feel the UFC is a great organization and I felt like I was very loyal to them but they didn't respect my loyalty but I wish the UFC the best. I did a lot of things for them. I wish no bad blood between us but I have kids & a family back in Memphis to provide for & thats all that matters to me!
[UPDATE by Matt Bishop at 9:38 p.m. ET 9/22/09]
Personally, I don't think this will stick. The fight with Rashad Evans is worth much more than any movie roles he'll be taking, so I think he's either holding the UFC up or this will last a little while and he'll be back in the fold. Dana White will come to terms with people who will make him money. He's not a dumb man.
I would be absolutely shocked if Rampage stayed retired for more than six months, especially if he sees or is told about "The Ultimate Fighter 10" gaining steam. And I find it hard to believe he is willing to commit to this when his first movie isn't even done filming yet. He could be a complete flop in the acting world for all we know and have to come crawling back to the UFC.
And I don't think White should grovel to Jackson here, either. While his stock will certainly rise because of "TUF 10," he has never been a huge drawing commodity, especially considering his fight with Keith Jardine in March was one of the lowest UFC buyrates in recent memory.
Losing Jackson would be tough because he is a headliner whether he draws or not. With the company running more shows each year and having a lack of headliners, this is tough. But with new fighters rising their own stock every month, Jackson soon will become just a memory if he sticks to this for a long period of time.