See you in April, Rampage

By Nicholas Bailey (

In case you, dear reader, do not have your finger on the pulse of MMA, yesterday (9/22/2009) Quinton “Rampage” Jackson put up a posting on his official blog announcing that he was “done” with fighting. He listed various problems he had with the way the UFC had treated him, expressed the fact that he couldn’t fight forever (listing various injures) and expressed and interest in pursuing a further career in Hollywood to provide for his family. All in all, a complete shot-for-shot remake of the Randy Couture resignation. Like many others, I’ll believe this is for real when I see it.

It amazes me that people are taking this seriously at all, so I have devised two simple rules to follow to aid those apparently handicapped into thinking an announcement like this means anything.

Rule 1: When a fighter announces their retirement, ignore it. No one is ever retired. A fighter’s career is like a deadite: you only know it’s really done when nothing has happened for several years, and even that is no guarantee. Couture retired how many times again? (And who can forget the awkwardness of your parting words being “this is the last time you’ll see these gloves and these shorts in this octagon” as if Randy had some kind of unique and iconic shorts or gloves?) Does anyone remember Trigg throwing a tantrum after getting submitted by Condit and retiring for a few months? Long story short, pay attention to reality; fighters fight until they can make more money some other way, either because they can’t make money fighting and losing on local shows or because they make more in some other venture.

Rule 2: In this case, Rule 1 should apply, but if Rampage makes some other kind of statement, remember this one. Fighters are vicious, snakelike liars. When a fighter makes a public pronouncement, they are serving as a promoter, and it is a fundamental truth that nothing that comes out of a promoter’s mouth is the truth. An MMA promoter is as trustworthy and forthright as a mafia lawyer (in fact, some mafia lawyers are probably MMA promoters). It blows my mind at this point in time that anyone takes anything Dana White or any other promoter says and treats it as fact. Rampage has an agenda, and will say anything in order to advance it. It’s that simple. Furthermore, Rampage has demonstrated that even at the best of times he is flighty, a drama queen, and more or less completely insane. Would it surprise anyone if he announced he was converting to fundamentalist Islam and moving to Africa, only to return three years later to promote a line of pornographic DVDs? The man is unstable and liable to do or say anything.

In the real world, what’s going to happen is this. The MMA Media will completely go nuts with this story, interviewing both sides and getting response interviews and speculating ad nauseum. After all, it’s several weeks until the next UFC event, and this is much more interesting than speculating about the notoriously media-shy Mirko Crocop. Somewhere along the line Dana will call Rampage a lot of bad names, or perhaps just paint him as a fool led astray by a parasitic agent, and swear never to work with him again. Eventually the story will die down, as Rampage really is going to film this movie. Sometime early next year, it will be announced that Dana and Rampage have reconciled, and that Rampage will fight in April, just as he was going to all along. Until then, I’ll be watching other fighters fight, so see you in April, Rampage.

P.S. Get a real team together if you want to vie for the title again.

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