Former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is no longer part of the UFC's "A-Team," according to a post on his blog.
Jackson, one of mixed martial arts' biggest stars, wrote "I'm done fighting" in a post on his official blog and expressed displeasure with UFC president Dana White.
White, who bailed Jackson out of jail last year after an incident in which Jackson was driving his truck on the wrong side of the street, was angry with Jackson for accepting a role as B.A. Baracus, made famous by Mr. T on NBC, in "The A-Team" movie. Jackson pulled out of a planned Dec. 12 fight with Rashad Evans because it conflicted with the movie's filming schedule.
In his post, Jackson wrote of a series of disagreements with management, which he said began shortly after he signed with the UFC. He said he was rushed into a championship fight with Chuck Liddell in 2007 before he was known by American fans. He said after the win over Liddell, the UFC arranged a fight with Dan Henderson without asking him and then pressured him earlier this year into fighting Evans instead of taking a championship shot against Lyoto Machida.
Jackson said he wanted to take the movie role because he used to watch the television show with his father and it brought back fond memories.
"Dana went on the Internet and mocked me because of that and I still did nothing," Jackson wrote. "Dana and I finally talked and we made up and then after that he went back on the Internet and said some [expletive] and he was talking bad about the movie, when information is not even supposed to be released … My body has been getting so many different injuries that I won't be able to fight until my 40s and 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."
White declined to comment Tuesday. He had made no secret of his displeasure with Jackson for taking the role and said prior to UFC 103 on Saturday that he had not been speaking with Jackson.
But White told reporters at the postfight news conference that he and Jackson had mended fences and were speaking.
"We kind of made up," White said. "We're going to figure it out. [Jackson] wants the Rashad fight. He's in Vancouver doing this movie. It is what it is. Now we just have to figure out when. We'll see what happens."
Jackson and Evans are coaches on the current season of "The Ultimate Fighter," which airs on Spike TV. They were scheduled to fight Dec. 12 in Jackson's hometown of Memphis, Tenn., at UFC 107.
The UFC's stance has been that it has offered Jackson a choice after his victory over Keith Jardine at UFC 96 in March. He would have been able to fight Machida for the title at UFC 98 or to fight Evans. Jackson was angry that Evans came into the cage after his win over Jardine and Jackson reportedly chose the Evans fight.
At a media day in June in Las Vegas to promote the 10th season of "The Ultimate Fighter," Jackson said he took the opportunity to coach on the show because of the exposure it would give him. He was clearly angry that some fans suggested he was afraid of Machida and said he wanted to fight Machida after he met Evans.
But in his post Tuesday, Jackson said that wasn't the case. At the time Jackson defeated Jardine at UFC 96 in March, Evans held the UFC's light heavyweight belt. Jackson fought Jardine with a jaw injury that would later require surgery and he declined to fight Evans in May.
Instead, Machida got the bout and knocked Evans out to claim the title. After that fight, White announced that Jackson had chosen to fight Evans and the two agreed to meet at UFC 107 after the conclusion of TUF.
Jackson supported that position publicly in numerous interviews but wrote in his blog Tuesday that White told him what to say.
" … When Rashad got knocked out [by Machida at UFC 98], I told them I wanted to fight Machida for the belt, but Dana told me if I coach TUF against Rashad that I could fight Machida afterwards cause this was a different type of Ultimate Fighter show they were doing," Jackson wrote. "After I signed the contract, Dana then changes his mind and says I have to fight Rashad and even told me what to say in the press and so my fans think I was scared to fight Machida. After all that, I still never complained and I did it all."
- Rashad Evans
- Lyoto Machida
- Dana White
- Quinton Jackson