In our recent talk with him, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson said it wasn’t his idea to take on Wanderlei Silva in his first fight back in the UFC since losing his title in July. The fight he asked for? A rematch with Forrest Griffin. The UFC, apparently, had other plans for him.
“Fighting is my job. That’s how I look at it. I didn’t ask for Wanderlei. I wanted a rematch with Forrest. But I don’t get to pick my fights. I fight the ones they give me, and they’re giving me Wanderlei.”
After everything that’s happened, Rampage seems more convinced than ever that he deserved to win the fight against Griffin.
“I still think I won that fight. I was the champ, and I think I did enough in that fight to stay the champ. You’re supposed to have to take the title away from the champion, and he didn’t do that. Even though it goes down on my record as a loss, I feel like I won that fight.
“I don’t see how anyone could give him that first round. I don’t know how a guy can get dropped and win the round. The judges must have been picking their noses or something, but I still feel like I won.”
Jackson was hesitant to comment on the situation that led to his split with Juanito Ibarra, but when asked about Tito Ortiz’s claims that Ibarra had been overcharging him for training camps, Jackson responded, “That was the small part of it. That was just one little thing he did.”
He says he hasn’t spoken to Ibarra since their split, and doesn’t intend to because “he’s just not a good person for me to be talking to.”
As for how the media spotlight coming into UFC 92 might affect him, coming off a loss and very public legal troubles, Jackson was quick to play down the extent of the pressure, particularly when it comes to winning and losing.
“This is why I miss Japan. American fans need to understand that there are no losers sometimes. Two guys go in there and one’s got to win and one’s got to lose. Every fight can’t be a draw, but if they both fight hard and do their best, there are no losers. Japanese fans understand that. American fans, they just want to be on your side when you’re winning. I don’t worry about what people think about me. I’m a fighter. It’s my job.”