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TUF 10′s Abe Wagner Confirms, “Rampage” Jackson Is No Coaching Genius

(‘So basically my plan is…[zzzz]…whoa, sorry about that. Sometimes the monotonous sound of my own voice makes me nod off in the middle of sentences.’)

If there’s one thing we’ve learned by watching "Rampage" Jackson over the years, it’s that while he’s a tough-as-nails fighter and a natural entertainer, at times he seems to lack some basic reasoning skills and the ability to conceive of a future that is shaped by his decisions in the present.  Maybe that’s why he made such poor use of the opportunity to pick the first fight on this season of "The Ultimate Fighter," or maybe it’s because he and Tiki spent too much time during fighter evaluations making fun of dudes and throwing the word "titties" around.  Either way, as Abe Wagner tells the story in his Fight Magazine blog, Jackson made some serious miscalculations when choosing to put Wagner up against John Madsen, and everybody saw it but "Rampage" himself:

Right after our team was formed, Rampage asked who wanted to fight right away, and me and one or two other guys raised their hands. Nothing really further was decided at that time, but about a half hour before the first fight announcement (and incidentally before we even had our first team practice) he approached me and told me he wanted me to fight first. I told him I was game and asked who he had in mind.

He told me John Madsen. I told him that while my stand up was good and my jiu jitsu was decent, my wrestling needed work and sometimes I’ll have trouble with a good wrestler. He told me he thought Madsen was only an average wrestler and not to worry about it. It turns out he’s a two-time national champion wrestler and that’s possibly the understatement of the year for me. I still didn’t think it was a good match up for me, but at some point, you just have to say that you’re there to fight and fight whoever is chosen for you. I just didn’t get why if we had control, he wouldn’t have picked someone I matched up better with. I didn’t think it was a very good strategic move for me or Team Rampage.

What’s happening here seems to be a simple miscommunication.  Maybe "Rampage" is just so used to training with and competing against high-level fighters that Madsen really is just an "average" wrestler to him.  I mean, come on, only a two-time national champ?  What was he doing the other two years of college, doing gravity bongs and playing ultimate frisbee?

Okay, so maybe Coach Jackson should have gone the safe route and picked a stylistic mismatch that actually favored his team, but where’s the fun in that?  Plus, in order for that to work, he would have needed to really know who the guys on the other team were, and anybody who saw his confusion when trying to figure out who Madsen was and whether he was really the guy they wanted to fight knows there might have been an issue there.  But give the guy a break.  It’s the first week and he’s got a lot to think about, like which Vegas nightclub has the best stanky leg facilities.

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Bloodlust- September 19, 2009 at 6:32 pm
i see your point armfarmer, but who says Kimbo has to win tuf? He just needs a good showing (i.e. 2 wins?) more than anything to get on the ufc roster. Madsen has advanced to the next round which obviously means for them to meet Kimbo would have to win, and then they would have to be matched up together. The "conspiracy" theory wouldnt let this happen it would give a favorable matchup to Kimbo in the 2nd rnd (as it would the first) and a poor stylistic matchup for madsen in rnd 2. I'm not saying it isnt a little farfetched (im also not saying madsen is a world beater, but obv a horrible matchup for kimbo), but with Rampage (who clearly doesnt give a fuck) as coach its the perfect opportunity for someone "else" to be the be the puppeteer and pull the necessary strings that land Kimbo in a ufc contract, which judging by the reaction of him on tuf would = ratings = $. They don't care about whether he "deserves" to be there at this point like dana stated when he wasnt under contract with him, they see that he's a bread making machine and dana's got the yeast.
ArmFarmer- September 18, 2009 at 11:34 am
That doesn't make any sense guys. Madsen could fight kimbo next week or the week after that or at any point on the show. Letting him beat up a guy with no ground game isn't going to stop him from fighting kimbo, it's actually more like kimbo-beatdown practice.
Bloodlust- September 17, 2009 at 8:59 pm
haha Bob I thought of that as well in my conspiracy laden mind...At this point it would obviously be in the ufc's best interest for Kimbo to do well on tuf. Just like his "posse" used to get him his "bread" the best way to do this is with *ahem* clever matchmaking and select mma rules...Of course this is far beyond Rampage's simple mind, but that doesnt mean larger forces are at work...
Bob Reilly- September 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm
I think rampage was forcing the best wrestler on evan's team take out one of thier weakest on purpose. You don't want him against precious Kevin Ferguson, do ya? But then again, maybe I'm giving him a little too much credit.
NateGetsIrate- September 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm
@ WuTang:

Man, who are you kidding? You're so white, you make Bill Gates look like Malcom X, ha ha ha!
WuTangClan- September 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm
The Bens def had to google "Stanky leg" after last nights episode
Bloodlust- September 17, 2009 at 3:44 pm
well said armfarmer, I feel the same way. I used to be a big Rampage fan in his pride days, and he's still funny once in a while, but that doesnt make up for him being such a complete jackass so frequently in recent memory. Kimbo as first pick? I'd like page to join my fantasy football league so he can take a kicker in the first round.
Meaot- September 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm
Rashad has Greg Jackson... basically he has Yoda on his team. Team Jackson might as well forfeit.


Is the fact that Rampage's coaching is terrible a surprise to anyone though? I mean, after season 7, I think most of the guys on Team Rampage must have been cringing when they got picked. Good luck boys, you're on your own!
831 Son- September 17, 2009 at 3:00 pm
Rampage really did blow it picking this matchup. He seems pretty dumb, but entertaining as ever. Also, I thought Rampage said that he was going to actually have good coaches for this season seeing how he acknowledged he sucks at being a coach. I hope he fucking destroys Rashad though when they finally fight.

John Madsen is a fucking fat loser too. Disrespectful punk bitch.
LBo- September 17, 2009 at 12:59 pm
I was hoping Rampage was going to bring the Wolfslair coaching staff with him, instead of doing it all himself. I mean Bisping's dumb enough to chase after Hendo's big right hand like he was running into a pole, but he at least had a good team for the reality show...

lek1221- September 17, 2009 at 12:20 pm
That fight was horrific by the way. Both would have gotten killed by any top heavyweight.
thebloc- September 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm
I'm glad to see Rampage is sticking to his last season coaching advices. Simple instructions like "get up" and "knock him out" is all a fighter should need, and if he doesnt realise that, repeating it 100 times should definitely help him.

Fucker shouldnt have tried to touch gloves that's why he lost.
ArmFarmer- September 17, 2009 at 11:59 am
Fuck Rampage. I use to think he was cool, but how many reasons does a guy have to give you to not like him? Did anyone see him on that fight science show where they measured the power of his slam? He acted like a total weirdo.. mean mugging the guys he was working with the whole time.. I don't think he said a word the whole episode he just mean mugged and made shit awkward. He's just a terrible representative for the sport. Between that and the female interviewer raping, ducking the fight with Rashad to do a shitty movie that he's going to make even worse by being in it, spending more time talking about that dudes tits than being a coach, the terrible match up, the terrible cornering.. Rampage is a complete jackass and he's dumb as a rock.
Walrus- September 17, 2009 at 11:08 am
It generally seems the TUF coach with the bigger personality usually turns out to be the lesser of the two coaches.
budsellers- September 17, 2009 at 10:49 am
11 more episodes of this?? thinking i will just read the cp recaps until the semifinals begin.
Blackleg- September 17, 2009 at 10:45 am
While not very specific "get up" should be all you need to hear to get the thought into your head that maybe you should give it a shot and try and get out from under Chunk.

I certainly wouldn't think I'd need to give detailed instructions to someone with "decent" BJJ about how to escape from the bottom. Evidently Abe's qualifiers for 'decent' are much different than those everyone else uses.

But yeah, Rampage is absolutely a shit coach though. I'm wondering how many episodes in before we see the predictable shot of him going nappies on a mat during a team training session again.
NECROPHYTE- September 17, 2009 at 10:44 am
It's been a while bitches!!!!
I just moved to a new place w/no internet. I'll be back trolling this mother a new one soon. What up to my boyz HAl and 831!
Deadpanda- September 17, 2009 at 10:41 am
Why are ya'll acting surprised about the way Rampage is behaving? Do you forget that this guy convinced himself he was God's enforcer & proceeded to go on a literal rampage around town during a mental 'episode?'

Jackson is Cpt. Unstable, expect more crazy out of Rampage this season (note the clip of door destroying on Spike).
LargeMidget- September 17, 2009 at 10:32 am
Rampage made the wrong call sending Abe in against that guy. Rashad turned out to be 100% right when he said Rampage was helping him out by sending in somebody with a pathetic ground game against his best wrestler. The way he won that fight was textbook Mark Coleman style GnP beatdown. Even though Madsen didn't finish the fight the axe wound on Abe's head is enough for anyone to consider that a total ass whooping.

I think that if Jackson's coaching is as bad as it was protrayed in the first epidose, then there's no amount of size or talent on his team that can compete with Greg Jackson's desciples.
Grimjitsu- September 17, 2009 at 10:24 am
Rampage was a total loser in episode 1. If the season continues this way, it makes sense why he would dodge the fight with Rashad for a movie role.
El Famous Burrito- September 17, 2009 at 10:05 am
Or the best tidbit of advice:

"Submit him!"

NipGrip- September 17, 2009 at 10:02 am
Rampage was too busy sucking on Kimbo's nuts to pay attention. During the fight, he gave some fantastic coaching advice like "Stand up" or "Stand up Abe".
lesnerisafag- September 17, 2009 at 9:46 am
that forhead vagina was a thing of beauty. made my fuckin night. an such a short stubby lil fucker that guy was eh. this TUF season will be the best.
UncleSamsMisguidedChild- September 17, 2009 at 9:38 am

Dana White will be on the Jim Rome show in the next hour. Might be a good one to cover.
BuckWild- September 17, 2009 at 9:36 am
Why wasn't he working with Abe before hand on takedown defense and scrambling to the feet?

I think that dude was the worse one out of the bunch..

Kimbo didn't look bad in the few seconds they showed him working out! I think Kimbo is mid to upper-level in this bunch! (under the two vets, Wes and Roy)