Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

This is why Quinton "Rampage" Jackson had to take a job in the new A-Team movie. When the mainstream media discovers the intricacies of the UFC fighter's personality he may blow up beyond anything the mixed martial arts world has even seen.

Covering him for the last few years, we've had a chance to discover the many sides of Jackson. He can be petulant, intimidating, grumpy yet he's a smart cookie who deep down is a pretty good dude. The L.A. Times did a big piece on Jackson, who plays B.A. Baracus in the A-Team, opening June 11. Early on, to grab the reader's attention, author Chris Lee harps on the fact that Jackson is a brash guy who can rub people the wrong way. The headline is a doozy -- Rampage Jackson brings a bad attitude to 'A-Team': 'Acting is kind of gay'

... a movie crew member had wandered in on this final day of principal photography and — whether jokingly or not — called the muscle-bound movie star a homophobic epithet. Jackson had responded with barely contained fury. He threw the guy out, shouting him down with every conceivable gay slur. "You're a punk!" Jackson finally bellowed.

He claimed the crew member's intent had been to provoke a physical assault. "That … wanted me to punch him so he could sue me," the professional body-slammer explained, using a certain 12-letter curse word that he lets fly often in conversation — a word that has no business appearing in a family newspaper and, for the sake of this article, will from here on out be substituted with "individual."

Okay, so mother(expletive) isn't the nicest thing to call people but it doesn't sound much different than stars like Christian Bale (NSFW), Jennifer Lopez, Bill O'Reilly (NSFW) or recent Hollywood Star recipient Chris Berman (NSFW).

The author also takes issue with Jackson's use of the word "gay."

"Acting is kind of gay," Jackson said. "It makes you soft. You got all these people combing your hair and putting a coat over your shoulders when you're cold. I don't want a coat over my shoulders! I'm a tough-ass [individual]!"

I bet if ypu talk to most movie crews they'll have plenty of things to say that make some of the actors look like arrogant bullies and jackasses. In that way, it sounds like Rampage was made for the role first played by Mr. T, during a 1980's network television run.

And on the heels of casting call No. 2, the Ultimate Fighter bested a Who's Who of pop cultural heavyweights — rappers Common and Ice Cube and celebrated street brawler Kimbo Slice among them — to nab the role. "I was destined to play this part!" Jackson exclaimed.

Co-star Bradley Cooper raved about Jackson.

"In my opinion, he's the best B.A. there could be," Cooper said. "It feels like a real coming out moment for Rampage."

So did Sharlto Copley.

"He's totally different from what I expected — I guess I expected more of a stereotypical thug-fighter with an arrogant attitude," Copley said. "Obviously there's this other side where he smashes people's heads in. It's quite remarkable!"

And writer/director Joe Carnahan discovered what many of us covering the sport and some of those who watched Season 10 of "The Ultimate Fighter" already knew.

"You just saw him in the middle of this courtroom wrestling with members of this crew. He is Rampage at his core and, he would be the first to admit this, is like an 8-year-old kid," Carnahan said. "He doesn't have an ounce of ill will — he really doesn't. But he gets painted in this negative way sometimes." 

The story closes with Jackson complaining about the movie business. He sounded like he did on Saturday night after his loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 114 when he talked about a potential legal battle with maker of the movie and having second thoughts about balancing a film and fighting career.

Bloody Elbow points out that The Times story is a nightmare for UFC P.R. Why? The description of Jackson shouldn't be a shocker to fight fans. And for casual fans, what's wrong with an immature, unpredictable, nasty fighter? It certainly worked for Mike Tyson before he went off the deep end in his late 20's.

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