("What the hell he need the stool for?")
By now, anyone watching this season of “The Ultimate Fighter” has been forced to confront two questions: ‘Is “Rampage” Jackson the worst coach in the history of the show?’ and ‘Doesn’t that bother him?’ The former light heavyweight champ has been pretty mum about the show’s portrayal of him so far. Instead he’s been busy feuding with Dana White and retiring from fighting in order to focus on his acting career, so it makes sense that he might not be sitting down with Tiki Ghosn and a bowl of popcorn every Wednesday to see how the show has turned out.
But after last night’s episode again showed a disinterested ‘Page who can’t even be bothered to check on his unconscious fighter after the team’s fifth straight loss, Jackson took to his blog to issue a response:
“I just wanted to blog about the T.U.F. show so people can get an understanding of where I’m coming from. They edited the show to make me look like I didn’t care about my team, but as you can clearly see I was coaching against a T.U.F. show champion (Rashad) and he came from the Ultimate Fighter so he knows how to play the camera and be fake…
Rashad acts so fake and cocky and he wants to act like he cares more about my fighter than I do and brag about how he’s a better coach than I am. But I tried to explain to him that I’m not a coach and I won’t be coaching after my fighting career, like he might. So as the fights go on and I end up losing a couple fights in a row, I grew more pissed and I let it get to me. So, the whole time Rashad was being a dick and cocky, I just talked to them back in the locker room, in private. Rashad thought the show was about him, about how good of a coach he could be and how fake he could be. But I knew what it was all about. … The show is called the Ultimate Fighter, not the Ultimate Coach.”
Jackson then goes on to bash Evans’ performance against Lyoto Machida some more, adding that he was happy with his team selection because they all got along really well. Evans’ team may be winning, he says, but “Rashad and his team didn’t even like each other.”
Basically, this is the old editing defense that we’ve seen time and time again from reality TV show participants. Jackson doesn’t like how he was portrayed, and by portrayed he mostly means filmed. TV producers can play some tricks with editing, but if this whole season were all an extended hatchet job on Jackson, we probably wouldn’t hear so many of the show’s other participants corroborating the version of events that we see on TV each week.
Face it, Rampage is a bad coach, in part because he doesn’t really care about being a good coach. He more or less says this himself, right before he insists that he really did do some coaching, but it was conveniently away from the view of the cameras. No one ever accused Jackson of using a coherent internal logic to guide his arguments, after all.
But beyond Jackson’s issues as a coach, we’re a little worried about his insistence that Rashad comes off better on the show because he “knows how to play the camera and be fake.” Rampage is the one who thinks he has a future as a movie actor. If he doesn’t know how to pretend to be something he isn’t, that’s going to severely limit the roles he can play. As Daniel Day-Lewis once said, “Dude, acting is really nothing more than playing to the camera and being fake.” Better hope there are a lot of scripts out there with Rampage-like characters in them.