According to UFC light-heavyweight star Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson his next fight will be his last in the UFC.
“I will fight who ever they put n front of me, I always have, but it will b my last fight n the ufc, I have other things on my mind,” Rampage told his followers on Twitter.
Apparently this isn’t a declaration that the former champion plans to retire from the sport however.
“I didn’t say I would b done fighting,I just said I’m not fighting 4 the UFC.”
When questioned by fans as to why he would be leaving the UFC he indicated that there may be a new breakdown in his relationship with the promotion.
“Y should I stay? I don’t need them or anybody else negative dealing with my [career]”
Certainly UFC president Dana White was non-committal about the fighter’s future after watching him lose to Ryan Bader at UFC 144 in Japan recently, telling Ariel Helwani that, “I just question whether he wants to do this anymore and have been since probably the A-Team movie.”
Whether remarks like that are what have offended Jackson or not is unclear at this stage, but he has been known to be sensitive to even the slightest criticism in the past.
Whatever the reason the reality is that Rampage is no longer the valuable commodity he once was. While he still has one of the most recognizable names on the roster his performances in the Octagon have been sub-par for a number of years leading to a 2-3 record since 2010, while despite his hard-hitting reputation he’s not had a KO victory since fighting Wanderlei Silva back in 2008.
When you factor in that the 33 year-old himself has already made it clear he intends to retire when he turns 35 the UFC are unlikely to be panicking to much about the prospect of him packing his bags and leaving.
There still remains the question of who he should face in his last UFC bout though, and depending on who it is there still could be significant interest in it.
The most likely options would be a rematch with either Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua who’s expressed an interest in revisiting their PRIDE encounter from the last decade, while ‘Rampage’ has also been keen to settle an old score with Forrest Griffin who defeated him and took his 205lb belt.
A win against either would be a chance to go out on a high, but based on his current form would be a long way short of a sure thing.