With his UFC on Fox 6 loss to Glover Texeira, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vowed to say goodbye to the UFC, but insisted that he is not done competing in mixed martial arts. Although the 34-year-old veteran is free to meet with suitors this week, looking at the current landscape of MMA, it’s hard to imagine a place that can fulfill the wants of “Rampage”.
The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion recently took to Sirius XM’s “Abe Kanan Show”, saying the following:
“I just want to be with an organization that’s going to treat me right. … I’ve been fighting for 12 long years. I just feel like I’ve done a lot for this sport, and I just feel like it’s time for the sport to take care of me. I’ve been taking care of the sport.”
While the demands seem simple enough and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney recently stated an interest in Jackson, the reality is that Quinton doesn’t fit into the Bellator mold. “Rampage” has been very open about his disdain for training camps and making weight throughout his entire career, therefore putting him into the tournament format, which would require him to do so at least 3 times across two months, seems highly unrealistic at this juncture. More unlikely still is Bellator paying a fighter star fighter to not compete in the tournament.
“Rampage’s” love of fighting in Japan could also see him headed to the newly relaunched DREAM, however, given the current state of Japanese MMA, it is unlikely the promotion is willing to meet the price tag, which is also likely true of ONE FC, who will expand into the Orient this year. Also, despite new management DREAM is under, one can’t forget the reputation the Japanese organization built themselves among American based fighters by not paying the purses of Nick Diaz, “JZ Calvan”, and a few others.
The value that the name “Rampage” provides certainly brings one promotion to mind, World Series of Fighting. Despite the fact that WSOF CEO recently stated that they can’t afford “Rampage” just yet, there is an interest for an eventual offer, not to mention that the MMA upstart has proven to be a good second home for Zuffa refugees and is known to pay their fighters well. Looking at the numbers would probably be second only to UFC in potential to make money for Jackson. Added to that is the fact that they have names like Tyrone Spong and Anthony Johnson competing at light heavyweight, giving Quinton the chance to make bones by fighting relatively known opposition on a cable platform. While is still in its infancy, they are off to a strong start and have implemented a bonus model very similar to the UFC’s, meaning “Rampage” can still make extra money atop his purse for “putting on a show”, which is important to him.
The one problem that comes to mind is that the former champion did himself no favors in his final UFC interview, stating that he doesn’t feel as though he can compete at an elite level, Jackson may have put a dent in his market value. Regardless of which, a regional tour just does not seem realistic, given the bombastic personality of the self-proclaimed werewolf. While it remains to be seen what does become of Quinton Jackson, it’s the obvious move that actually seems the most interesting.