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Rampage & LeBron James in Nike Ad

UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s trainer, Juanito Ibarra, has told Sherdog that his boy is helping MMA step into the mainstream. A Nike commercial called “Human Chain” shoots this weekend in Los Angeles and Rampage will be a part of it. Ibarra says the premise of the ad is “overachieving with victory, getting knocked down and getting back up.” NBA star LebRon James and others are also reportedly participating in the shoot.

According to the report:

“We have been working on it for quite a while, and things are just coming around now,” said Ibarra, who credited Jackson’s charisma for the fighter’s increasing notoriety.

“I’m sure the UFC brand helps, being the UFC champion,” the trainer said about his charge. “But when people meet ‘Rampage,’ they really get it.”

Ibarra also said that Rampage isn’t looking at this “like a Nike commercial.” Sure, he’s looking at it as a chance to bed the unassuming 19-year-old production assistant from Kansas, but it’s still a Nike commercial. Regardless of how Rampage views it, the ad is the latest in a string of mainstream moves for mixed martial arts. The EliteXC joining forces with CBS, Randy Couture shooting his own Nike ad, Tito Ortiz gettin’ fired, and Bud Light becoming a UFC sponsor, are all indicators that MMA has in fact arrived to the mainstream.

A source close to the costume designer of “Human Chain” claims Rampage will wear some sort of large chain and a scowl in the ad, while King James will again insult his hometown of Cleveland by wearing Yankee gear. Bravo, Boys.

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ckRqAKlNtoRHkffx- July 24, 2008 at 3:28 am