(‘Ummm…it wasn’t me?’ Photo courtesy of MMA Punch.)
Gossip site TMZ — the same site that first captured former UFC champ “Rampage” Jackson’s run from the law — is now reporting that the former champ has “pleaded not guilty to felony counts of evading police, hit-and-run and reckless driving” and is free on $25,000 bond. They’re also kind enough to point out that there are no shortage of pictures and witnesses in the case, as they well know.
Is this all an attempt to get the charges knocked down, or is it possible that Rampage really thinks he has a chance of beating this? In all the discussion that has surrounded this case, never once has anyone put forth the serious hypothesis that he might be innocent. Maybe ‘not guilty by reason of energy drinks’? That’s a real defense, right? Pretty sure I saw it on ‘Law & Order’ once. Jack McCoy wasn’t even trying to hear it, though, and that dude went down, which doesn’t bode well for Rampage if any of the potential jurors in this case also saw that episode.
Rampage is due back in court on November 3, TMZ says. That’s not too far away from UFC 91 on November 15, and if the UFC follows through on its plan to put Rampage in that event it may be cutting things a little close. The guy is already dealing with enough distractions. Trying to train and then fight while he’s got an ongoing criminal case might be too much to ask.
Stay tuned to see how this one plays out…