By Jared Jones
I’m going to level with you for a second, Potato Nation. Last Friday, around 1 p.m. EST, I sat down for a twenty minute phone interview with none other than former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. As you may or may not know, Rampage has a series of IPhone/Android video games coming out, the first of which is aptly named “Rampage Punch.” You can learn all you need to know about the game in the above video, and you can download the apps for IPhone here and for Android here.
Much to my chagrin, when I tried to pry into Quinton’s beefs with everyone from the UFC to Chael Sonnen, I was pretty much denied any worthwhile answers, and told by MEDL Mobile’s publicist, who was also on the line, to keep the questions within the realm of video games. I’m not sure how many of you consider yourselves “gamers,” or care to hear what Rampage has to say about video games, but needless to say, I was at a loss for words. I do not own a smart phone, and the last console I ever purchased was an N64, because there is no point trying to find a console that will top perfection. I understand that Mr. Jackson is a busy guy, and probably has to do hundreds of interviews with low-level bloggers/writers like myself, but considering how vocal he has been about all of the goings-on in his MMA career as of late (ie. the stuff you’d actually be interested in), the fact that I was more or less relegated to a puff piece on a video games, for an MMA blog no less, was disappointing to say the least.
This is in no way a jab at Quinton, because I was more than appreciative to be able to talk to him, but rather a truthful statement of how the interview went down. So it is with this fair warning that I present to you my conversation with Mr. Jackson as it played out, and allow you to decide upon it’s merit. There are definitely some interesting things to take away from this interview, but if you are not a gamer, most of it will likely not be your cup of tea.
CAGEPOTATO.COM: So I’ve been playing your Rampage Punch app for the past few days and I was wondering, could this game actually help the keyboard warriors of the world improve their punching power?
Rampage: “I’m sure it will help a lot of people. It’s just basically a game showing you where [your punching power is] at. You might need to go back and work on it some more if you’re not getting high numbers.”
Do you play a lot of phone games, like Angry Birds or that Draw Something shit?
“Yeah, I play Angry Birds a little bit.”
What were some of the games you liked to play growing up?
“Growing up, I used to like to play Pitfall and Burger Time and stuff like that when I was a little kid. When I got a little older, I was into Nintendo games.”
At this point, I attempted to make a crack about my aforementioned love for the N64 to try and get a rise out of him. It failed.
I’ve noticed that you’ve been lashing out at Chael Sonnen recently on your Twitter account. How’d that beef get started?
“Man, I don’t know. Chael Sonnen is a fool, man. I just got tired of a lot of people on Twitter asking me questions about him. That’s all I got to say about that.”
How do you deal with a lot of the negativity that seems to arise on Twitter, be it from fans or other fighters?
“I just block a lot of people on Twitter. People think that I get upset when they say they’ve stopped following me, or something like that. I didn’t get a Twitter so I could count the people following me, I got a Twitter so I could communicate with my fans. So if people don’t want to follow me, they don’t like what I say, don’t follow me. Other than that, I don’t give a fuck.”
Speaking of beefs, you may have heard that your buddy King Mo Lawal recently signed a deal with both Bellator and TNA Wrestling. Have you ever been approached by TNA or the WWE, and what is the possibility that we’d see you in the squared circle in the future?
“I don’t know, man.”
*even longer silence*
Alright, let’s move on. You’ve made your feelings about the UFC very clear lately, so I was wondering, what could they have done to stay on your good side?
“Appreciated all the stuff I’ve done for them a little bit more. A lot of people don’t know the behind the scenes stuff, all the people know is what they see when you step in the cage. The UFC knows the stuff I’ve done for them and I know the stuff the UFC’s done for me. I feel like I was appreciative. It’s one of those things, when you’re working for a company, and you don’t feel like you’re happy anymore. It’s the same thing when you’re fighting somebody.”
The publicist jumped in, stating “That’s primarily why we’re treating him nice over at MEDL.”
“MEDL treats me really good,” Quinton added, “I’m really happy with MEDL Mobile right now.”
You’ve mentioned that you’d like to rematch either Forrest Griffin or Mauricio Rua after you recover from knee surgery. Now, have you already gone under the knife and if so, how’s recovery going?
“I already went through surgery on my right knee. What goes on is, I’m going to scope my left knee and I’m still going through recovery and rehab and stuff right now, so it’s all good.”
One of your gripes with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva seems to be some of the “boring wrestlers” he’s paired you with as of late. If the UFC tried to stick you against an up and comer like Alexander Gustafsson instead of a fight you wanted, would you feel disrespected?
“Well, I don’t even know who [Gustafsson] is.”
“He beat Thiago Silva? I don’t care, man. I’ve never cared who I fought. I wouldn’t feel disrespected by the decision. I know the UFC really wants to promote their brand and they’re really not trying to promote me right now, so I’m sure they’re going to try and give me anybody who they think can beat me. I’m not even caring.”
And why do you feel you’re not getting the respect you deserve?
“I just feel like ever since I did The A-Team, the UFC and I didn’t see eye to eye. I don’t want to keep talking about that. A lot of fans don’t understand that I’m not a robot, I’m a human being. If I’m not happy somewhere, I’m not happy somewhere. So I don’t want to keep talking about it.”
On that note, you’ve mentioned before that there are a lot of “better fights” waiting for you outside of the UFC. Do you have any specific opponents in mind for when you become a free agent?
“No. I’m not even thinking about that stuff right now.”
It was here that the publicist cut me off, asking that I instead focus on Rampage’s new game. Seriously, how many questions can one ask about a game in which you hold a phone in your hand and throw a punch? It’s not like we’re talking about fucking Skyrim here.
Anyway, he let me know that “Rampage Punch” is actually the first of three Rampage featured games to be released by MEDL Mobile. Though he informed me that he couldn’t get into too much detail, because there are people out there who will “copy and twist” the ideas, one will be a fighting style game and the other will be a multiplayer “take-off of Twisted Metal.” So twisting the idea behind Twisted Metal is cool then? The video game industry sure is complicated.
How did this video game deal come about? Did MEDL Mobile approach you with the idea, or have video games been something that you’ve always been passionate about?
“I’ve always been very passionate about video games. I’ve always wanted to design video games and help make video games, because I really like them. The agency I was with contacted MEDL Mobile, and they liked some of my ideas. It sprung from there.”
Are there any games that have come out in the past couple years that have really caught your attention?
“I mostly play console games. Right now, I’ve just been playing Call of Duty, stuff like that.”
“He’s a beast at Call of Duty,” the publicist added. “I actually play with him and his clan at night.”
“I’m not as good as I want to be,” Jackson retorted.
I’ve also heard that you’ve been trying to break into the movie industry as a writer. Any future projects we should keep an eye out for?
I did a movie with Josh Duhamel, 50 Cent, and Bruce Willis called Fire With Fire, but I don’t know when it’s going to come out. I just had a small part in it anyway. My part in the movie is pretty funny, so you guys should get a kick out of it.”
If we could get back to your fighting roots for a moment; do you see yourself returning to Japan to fight in the future? What are some of the most noticeable differences between the American and Japanese MMA scenes?
“I would love to fight in Japan. The Japanese MMA scene is a lot older than the American scene. A lot of the new fans in America, they’ve just come since the big boom when the UFC was on Spike. And when the UFC kind of kicked out the MMA media years ago, they only show what type of media that they want to show. I just think a lot of the new fans are not knowledgeable at all to what’s going on. They just hear what they’re told, and whatever they’re told, they just believe. But the Japanese fans, they know what’s going on. They know the behind the scenes stuff, because they get down to all the little details. They even known your blood type, they know everything about you. They know how to be a fan, and they know how to respect somebody who’s going out and putting their life on the line to entertain you, whereas American fans are very selfish and very disrespectful. If you lose a fight, they talk shit about you. Putting on a nice fight, that’s all they care about. It’s just the polar opposite fans.”