“There’re a lot of reasons I’m leaving the UFC, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was that they knew I was injured before the Bader fight. The card wasn’t strong enough for the fans. I didn’t feel I could pull out of the fight because it was in Japan and that’s where I came from. The UFC had all the old Pride fighters busy,” explains Rampage. “They knew they [were] going to Japan but they had Dan Henderson, Shogun [Mauricio Rua], all the guys fighting before. Then they tried not to put me on the card and go to Chicago on a Fox card, and I just couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t use the Pride guys.”
Though Rampage took the responsibility to fight with his injury, he said it was Dana White’s reaction to his loss that pushed Jackson to make his decision to leave.
“Dana said [publicly] my head wasn’t into the fight and he talked some s--- about me even though he knew I had the injury. They’d helped me with the injury. That was the last straw for me.”
While "Rampage" Jackson has clearly fallen out of love with the UFC, his MMA career is far from over.
“I’m training better than ever now my knee is fixed. I was fighting with a bum knee for 12 years and it finally gave out on me before the Bader fight. Now I’m getting better, I’m getting faster. I’ve got a good team around me and I’m more positive now so I know this is the next chapter for me. I’m training harder than I have in a long time and I know I’m gonna destroy this guy,” Jackson states calmly. “These next fights are about my legacy. I wanna go out there and destroy some people in MMA and move on and start making movies and TV shows and video games.”
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