Dana & I finally talked & we made up & then after that he went back on the internet & said some bullshit & he was talking bad about the movie when information is not even supposed to be released & talking about payments which is not even true could really hurt my future acting career, which could very well last longer than my fighting career. I’m not like Randy Couture. My body has been getting so many different injuries that I wont be able to fight until my forties & neither do I want to fight that long. So I feel like my second career could be in jeopardy.. so I’m done fighting. I’ve been getting negative reviews from the dumb ass fans that don’t pay my bills or put my kids though college. So I’m hanging it up. I’m gonna miss all my loyal fans but hopefully they’ll follow me to my new career & I will gain more loyal fans along the way. & all you hater fans out there can kiss my big black hairy ass! & anybody that don’t like what I just said can come try to kick my ass! I still feel the UFC is a great organization and I felt like I was very loyal to them but they didn’t respect my loyalty but I wish the UFC the best. I did a lot of things for them. I wish no bad blood between us but I have kids & a family back in Memphis to provide for & thats all that matters to me!
It's pretty lame to lose a top 3 205er so abruptly, but once he was willing to throw away his biggest feud for a movie I suppose the writing was on the wall. He's had a long and storied career, but I'm betting we'll end up seeing him again in five, six years, fighting as a less impressive heavyweight in c-level organizations.
For what it's worth, the quotes from Dana that appear to have upset Rampage are:
"'Rampage' is an active fighter that took that spot on 'The Ultimate Fighter,' and he can say he did it for me or whatever, but there was a commitment there to fight at the end of the show," White said. "He could have fought in that fight and went and did seven movies for all I care. He could have took four years off and did whatever he wanted to do. He was obligated to take that fight."
"They got [Jackson] thinking that they're going to make this movie for nothing, and then the sequel he'll make $20 million. I'll pay [Jackson] nothing to fight Rashad, and then give him $20 million for the rematch."
There's part of me that thinks this is all a work so that fans get all giddy when the Rashad fight finally does happen instead of getting pissy that it was delayed so long. OTOH, Jackson's been said some stuff about not really being interested in fighting Evans after he (Rashad) lost to Machida, so maybe he is done with the UFC for now anyway.
For as much as Dana's been a huge part of the UFC's success (and he's done a phenomenal job promoting them IMO) things like this make me wonder if his "anything not UFC sux" schtick might need some toning down in the long-run. In the last couple months alone he's insulted Fedor, Mayweather and Rampage for a variety of reasons. You've got to figure a goodly number of UFC fans like at least *one* of those guys, so if he keeps it up eventually he'll just end up pissing of fans who used to like his product.
In this case we're talking about a guy who's landed a role that offers real crossover potential, but instead of talking up how this emphasises the growing popularity of UFC and how its fighters are becoming household names, Dana belittles Quinton and acts like he's scraped a role as an extra in some B-movie.
For the avoidance of doubt, he's meant to be playing BA fricking Baracus in a movie that (last I heard) will be starring such no names as Liam Neeson and Jessica Biel.
And the dude's, what, 31? He could easily have gone and made the movie, got a ton of exposure for the UFC and himself and then come back. Of course, if the movie were successful Rampage might decide he didn't *need* to come back, which I suspect may be the real reason Dana White is upset so.
As for Dana's comment about being happy to let him go make movies AFTER the Rashad fight? Utter and complete arse gravy. The UFC, like any organisation, hates letting fighters leave on a winning streak, and if the guy has a belt at the time they do their best to flat out stop them leaving. If Rampage beat Rashad he wouldn't hold a belt, but he would become about the closest thing to a legit contender for Machida that they have.
If he buggered off to make movies after that, Dana would be telling anyone who'd listen how Rampage was ducking Machida and what a f****** joke he f****** was.
I still love the UFC (and like I say, Dana has done a great job for them) but between the trash-talking from Dana against anyone who doesn't bow to his will and the overly scripted nonsense that was the start of the latest season of TUF, they're pissing me off a bit lately.
That aside, if this is the end for Rampage I shall be sad. Fun guy to watch, if a bit of a tool at times.
No one. Ring won't award the belt again until their top two contenders fight, which would be Byrd #1 and Ruiz #2 for the most recent ones I could find. (Rahman's #3, and I could see them giving it to the winner of a Byrd-Rahman fight.)