Following UFC 135 last night Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson took time to give his post-fight reaction backstage after suffering a fourth round submission loss to Jon Jones in his latest title bid.
Check out keynotes from his conversation with MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani below and scroll down to watch the video for yourselves.
– Rampage came out to a song that said “I ain’t going back to jail.” He says he liked it and says it let’s people know that win or lose he’s already a winner because he managed to get away from a rough neighbourhood in Memphis in his youth thanks to his MMA career. “I’m a success no matter what happens.”
– “I didn’t know I was fighting a gorilla” Rampage jokes about his first impressions when Jones started the fight on all fours. “Obviously he was a little intimidated by the punching power which is a common thing with my opponents in the UFC,” adding that he “chalked it up to him trying to throw me off.”
– On reflection Rampage admits he didn’t stick to his gameplan and confesses “it was almost as if I didn’t trust my cardio, but I knew I was in great shape.” He also felt discouraged when he let go with strikes and Jones would evade them.
Laying his cards on the table Rampage also reveals that he was really worried by Jones wrestling pre-fight as he felt he was one of the best wrestlers in the UFC, and so he worked really hard on his own defensive wrestling and ended up being impressed by his own grappling work in the fight.
Rampage says the gameplan was to use head movement, get close to him, use leg kicks if he backs away and if he took him down to get right back up.
“Basically I choked. I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. A couple of times I just worried about the wrong things. I worried about getting poked in the eye, I worried about this, and I just wasn’t myself out there. I’m very disappointed in my performance.”
If he could put it down to one thing he believes it was Jones reach that “bothered me a little bit.”
– Rampage does respect Jones now, saying, “the kid beat me at my best. I was at my best physically today. I’ve never trained this hard before in my life.”
– He says he’s very interested in seeing the fight between Jones and Rashad Evans and believes Evans is “the only person that has a chance of beating him.”
– Rampage reveals that his sponsor Musclepharm gave him a new Lambourghini. He now plans to enjoy that and help his team-mates likes Cheick Kongo prepare for their fights. He also plans to return to Denver to continue working on his wrestling, and to the UK to continue to develop his head movement and believes that he can become “a brand-new fighter”.
He’s also going to celebrate the fact that he had a great training camp and won extra money due to getting the ‘Fight Of The Night’ bonus. As a result he plans to give bonuses to all his coaches and training partners.
– Rampage wants to fight ‘Shogun’ Rua next in Japan, but if that doesn’t work out he’s keen to have rematch with Forrest Griffin. He also says he would fight his Strikeforce rival Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal.