‘Rampage’ Jackson: Next Fight Could be My Last With the UFC

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Ryan Bader (James Law/HeavyMMA)

Former champ takes to Twitter overnight

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson says he will fight one more time for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, then likely leave the promotion.

Jackson, in a series of posts overnight on his Twitter account, implied that his next fight for the UFC will be his last and that he might continue fighting after that, just not for the UFC, which has been his home since 2007.

“I feel sorry 4 my next opponent, no matter who or what it is,” Jackson posted on Twitter. He then went on to take a mild swipe as his employer over pay scale: “I will fight who ever they put n front of me, I always have, but it will b my last fight n the ufc, I have other things on my mind … I didn’t say I would b done fighting, I just said I’m not fighting 4 the UFC (u fight cheap). Y should I stay? I don’t need them or anybody else negative dealing with my (career).”

In fairness, Jackson has suggested before that he might be done with the promotion when he chose to make “The A-Team” movie rather than fight nemesis Rashad Evans at UFC 107 in Jackson’s home city of Memphis, Tenn. The behind-the-scenes scuffling between Jackson and UFC brass led him to make a post on his website in September 2009 – while episodes of Season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter” were airing with him as coach opposite Evans – saying that he was retiring because of the way he was treated by the UFC. But about two months later, UFC president Dana White said that things were patched up with Jackson enough to book a fight between him and Evans, and about a month before that bout at UFC 114, Jackson resigned with the UFC with a new six-fight deal.

It’s been a bit of a rough stretch for Jackson. After back-to-back wins over fellow former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida at UFC 123 and Matt Hamill at UFC 130, Jackson got a title shot against Jon Jones when injuries to both Evans and Jones messed with the timing of that fight. But he lost to Jones with a fourth-round submission in September at UFC 135.

Jackson lobbied for a fight on the UFC’s return to Japan for UFC 144 10 days ago and got it. But he said an injury in training camp kept him from being able to be on weight, and he came in at 211 pounds, forcing a fight with Ryan Bader into a catch weight bout – and forfeiting 20 percent of his purse to his opponent. (Though salaries for UFC 144 were not disclosed, Jackson’s last two disclosed pay days, at UFC 114 and UFC 130 in Las Vegas, have been flat rates of $250,000 with no win bonus, not including any possible discretionary or pay-per-view bonuses he might receive from the UFC.) Bader went on to a 30-27 sweep of the judges’ scorecards in a fight that took place six years to the day since Jackson’s last fight in Japan, where he was a legend for Pride Fighting Championships during that promotion’s heyday.

After signing with the UFC in 2007, Jackson needed just one fight to get a shot at Chuck Liddell’s light heavyweight title – and he knocked the champ out in less than 2 minutes to claim the belt. He unified his UFC light heavyweight title with Dan Henderson’s Pride middleweight title three months later. But he lost his belt to Forrest Griffin the next year. After winning four of five fights, the Evans decision being his lone loss, the setbacks to Jones and Bader mark the first losing streak of Jackson’s storied career.

The UFC has not made any official comment on Jackson’s overnight remarks.

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