"For recent fights, it has been hard to work 100%, but no-one has needed to try to motivate me for this fight. I want my belt back. Between me, my Wolf's Lair team and the guys at the MusclePharm gym here in Denver, we've spent over $1million on this camp."
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson
When Mark DellaGrotte trains in Thailand, he speaks the language, and sleeps on the floor with the other fighters. The practice is not limited to Thailand - countless young fighters with large hearts but a thin wallet trains on the mats, and then sleep on them, too.
Rampage is not a young fighter, and he has a fat wallet, but to prepare for his fight Saturday night vs Jon Jones, he made his home inside the MusclePharm gym just off I-70 in Denver, CO. Jackson has been living in the facility for about the past two months, by his own reckoning.
"I'm kind of lazy," Jackson expalined. "I didn't want to have to wake up in the morning...and I'd be late here every day. So I just said forget it. Move me in."
"Rampage lives right in there," MusclePharm co-founder and senior president Cory Gregory said, gesturing through a door off the main weight room. "It was originally a physical therapy room. He spent one night in a hotel then came in and said, 'Hey, make me a room.' So we made him a room and that's where he sleeps."
Not only does the gym have a kitchen, it also has a hyperbaric chamber, hot and cold recovery tubs, hydraulic weight training machines, aquatic treadmills, a full lab for measuring hormone levels -- even its own movie theater where all the seats are individually embroidered with the MusclePharm logo.
"We use [the theater] for presentations and stuff," Gregory said. "But also Rampage uses it to play video games and watch movies."
How the one million dollar figure as arried is not spelled out, but a good portion of it seems to come from the luxury of the MusclePharm gym, which isn't open to the public.
"We're a brand that sells supplements worldwide," Gregory said. "This was all in our marketing budget, because we knew that just like the thing they played on Spike, the Countdown show, there's like five minutes all about the facility. Basically, if you build it, they will come."
"We didn't need to make money off the gym. We're making money because you're standing here talking to me."
It's a very different training model than the one that most MMA fighters follow. Rather than working with an existing team that makes its home in an existing fight gym, Jackson is his own moveable team. He has his own dedicated coaches and sparring partners, and his own private gym to work out of.
The real test, of course, comes on Saturday night. That's when we'll all find out how much it benefited Jackson to live and train inside this cavernous facility, with every advantage science could concoct ready at his disposal.
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