On the Rampage: ‘I’m getting my belt back’

One thing people don’t really know about me is how proud I was of becoming the first ever unified champion of PRIDE and the UFC. That was huge in my life and something I will always be very proud I did. Anderson Silva is a great fighter, and he’s the other guy who unified the PRIDE and UFC belts, but I did it first when I beat Dan Henderson at UFC 75 to unify the light heavyweight belts.

Newer fans don’t know how great PRIDE was because PRIDE died maybe before they really got into MMA, but unifying that division and the UFC division is something I don’t think I could be prouder of.

The belt that I lost to Forrest Griffin, even though I should have got the decision after knocking his ass down in that fight? The belt Forrest lost to Rashad Evans? The one Rashad lost to Lyoto Machida? The one Machida lost when Maurico “Shogun” Rua beat him? The one Jon Jones took from the injured “Shogun” who couldn’t even train? That one? That belt? That belt is the unified PRIDE and UFC world title, and that belt exists because of me beating Chuck Liddell and Dan Henderson in two straight fights to win the UFC and then PRIDE titles.

Nothing felt better than becoming the first unified champ in MMA history. I plan on getting my belt back at UFC 135.
(Getty Images)

I think now I didn’t appreciate even myself what I had accomplished, and by the time I did, I’d lost it.

That’s why I want my belt back so bad. It’s my belt.

So it does kinda bug me that people think I’m not taking this fight in Denver next against Jones seriously. It’s dead serious, heart attack serious to me. I want that belt back.

I don’t want to talk about the whole “spy” thing too much more. I am glad I found out, I’m glad I told people about it, and I think it’s not an honorable way to prepare for a fight, but if Jon Jones wants me to, I’ll have a camera installed here at the Muscle Pharm in Denver and he can watch me 24-7.

He can have a live feed on me. “Bones” can watch me brush my teeth in the morning and see what toothpaste I used, who I am training with and how hard I am working, and he can see which hand I wipe my ass with for all I care.

It don’t matter because there’s no real secret to what I really want to do in this fight: punch him on his big “Bones” head. Knock him out. Jon Jones has never been hit in his career. He could have the best chin in the history of the UFC, or he could have the worst in history. We don’t know because he has not got hit yet. But we will know at UFC 135 because he will get hit by me.

But I know I am going to have to work at hitting him. He’s got them “Go-go-Gadget” long-ass arms and legs and he’s fast. He’s also going to look to take me down so I have to let my hands go. But I’ve been here in Denver, training at the Muscle Pharm Gym at altitude, living in the gym – for real I live here at the gym until after this fight – for seven damn weeks to be ready.

Follow Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at @rampage4real

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Updated Tuesday, Sep 13, 2011