(Photo courtesy of CageToday.)
Josh Gross has a lengthy update on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in his SI column, and while it’s good to hear any news on the troubled former UFC champ, nothing that Gross passes along could be classified as “reassuring.” First and foremost, Rampage and his trainer/manager Juanito Ibarra have indeed parted ways:
With defeat as the impetus, Jackson responded to rough terrain by relieving the trainer of his duties, though “bottom line, somehow, someway it all involves money,” said the fighter’s friend.
Jackson is now out of psychiatric observation and is attending outpatient treatment on a daily basis, but he didn’t seem completely cured after his initial release.
“He would still make comments that were slightly weird,” said Jackson’s longtime associate. “You could tell that he wasn’t all the way there, but each day you could tell he was better…He knows what he went through,” said the source. “He knew he had an emotional breakdown that led to a mental breakdown.”
There’s a few other things worth pulling from the article. First off, Jackson came to the Lord under duress. (“In 2004, Jackson…claimed he was touched by Jesus in a dream, scaring him enough to bolt from his apartment with his son D’Angelo in tow. That night he was born again.”) Second, at the time of his PRIDE 28 rematch with Wanderlei Silva, he hadn’t eaten for three days, because he had read on the Internet that fasting would keep the devil away.
Finally, Gross reports that the UFC wants Jackson to return in November, facing off for a third time against Silva. (“His appearance in the cage will depend primarily on his mental state.”) Wow, bad idea. Possibly the worst thing that the UFC could do for Quinton right now is throw him up against the demon that stole his soul twice in PRIDE. My prediction is Rampage would freak the hell out, and either get sunk in the first round or bite Wandy’s nose off during the staredown. Can we wait until Jackson is given a clean bill of mental health before trying to set up his next fight?
The cynic in me thinks that Rampage is being “busted out” — fed to Silva before he’s mentally ready so that the Axe Murderer can score another brutal knockout and boost his marketability in the light-heavyweight division. Something like that could spell the end of Jackson’s career for good. I can only hope the UFC truly looks out for his best interests, because Juanito’s gone, and Rampage might not be able to look out for himself quite yet.