MMA Legend Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has made millions of dollars fighting on the biggest stages in the sport in Pride FC, the UFC and Bellator. Rampage has also landed major movie roles because of his popularity in the sport, but in the end, he regrets it all and wishes he never started his MMA career. Quinton explains his reasoning to ESPN. Check it out.
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Quinton Ramone “Rampage” Jackson (born June 20, 1978) is an American mixed martial artist, actor and retired professional wrestler who is currently signed with Bellator MMA. He is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, a title he unified with the Pride Middleweight Championship (205 lbs). Due to his eccentric personality and aggressive fighting style, Jackson became a star in Japan during his stint with the Pride FC and following his move to the UFC, he helped pioneer MMA’s growth into a worldwide sport.
Jackson is from Memphis, Tennessee and had a difficult childhood. He began selling drugs from a young age and was involved in many street fights. Jackson also had a dysfunctional family, as his drug-addicted father disappeared when Jackson was only 10 years old, before returning to his life in 2003. Jackson had his first experience with combat sports as a wrestler for Raleigh-Egypt High School, enrolling at the school as a 17-year-old freshman, where his career included All-State honors in his senior year after finishing fifth in the state tournament at 189 pounds. In high school Jackson also befriended fellow Bellator light heavyweight Jacob Noe, a karate practitioner who taught Jackson striking techniques, in exchange for wrestling techniques. Originally, Jackson intended to pursue a career in professional wrestling after graduating high school, but ultimately extended his amateur wrestling career at Lassen Community College in Susanville, California before being expelled after a fight with a teammate. After discovering mixed martial arts, Jackson trained in Las Vegas with BAMMA fighter Lewis Rumble.
Japan’s Pride organization in 2001 marketed Jackson as being a homeless person. Jackson, still a relatively unknown fighter, first was matched at Pride 15 against fellow wrestler and Japanese superstar Kazushi Sakuraba, who was at that time Pride’s most prominent domestic fighter. Jackson lost due to a rear naked choke from Sakuraba. Jackson captivated the Japanese fans with his exciting performance and also gained their respect and admiration for his valiant effort against the much more experienced Sakuraba. After beating pro-wrestler Alexander Otsuka in a fight for the Battlarts promotion, Jackson was invited back for Pride 17 where he scored a knockout victory over Otsuka’s training partner, Yuki Ishikawa. In his next fight, Jackson was disqualified for a low blow against Daijiro Matsui.
Jackson then went on to defeat Masaaki Satake, Igor Vovchanchyn, Kevin Randleman and Mikhail Illoukhine in successive Pride bouts. He also made forays into kickboxing with a pair of victories over kickboxer Cyril Abidi, under K-1 rules. The first kickboxing bout between Abidi and Jackson was on July 14, 2002. Many expected Jackson’s wild style of striking would not translate into the K-1 ring, thinking he would be outclassed by such a schooled and disciplined striker as Abidi. Instead, Jackson overwhelmed Abidi from the opening bell, and knocked him down less than a minute into the bout. Jackson then scored a hard underhand right to the chin of Abidi, knocking him out only 1:55 into the very first round.