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Old 09-23-2009, 11:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rampage done with the UFC

The rift between UFC president Dana White and former light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson appears far from resolved.

In a blog posting Tuesday afternoon on his official Web site, Jackson said he was retiring to become a full-time actor.

"I'm done fighting," Jackson wrote.

One source close to the fighter characterized his actions differently, telling MMAWeekly.com Tuesday evening that Jackson said he "wasn't going to fight for the UFC unless they offered him a (expletive) of money."

Last month, the former champion drew fiery criticism from White when word leaked that he was scheduled to take on the role of B.A. Baracus in an upcoming movie remake of "The A-Team."

Jackson, who took a second turn as coach on the tenth season of "The Ultimate Fighter" after declining a title shot against Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 due to injury, was expected to face rival coach Rashad Evans at UFC 107 in December.

"He wants to do this thing, and he's like, 'listen, man, this is really important to me...there's some sentimental value here for me, me and my Dad grew up watching The A-Team together and we loved it,'" White told reporters at a pre-fight press conference for UFC 102. "Well, guess what, brother? I said, 'guess what Rashad Evans is thinking about right now. He's thinking about beating your (expletive) ass. He's not sitting around thinking about him and his mom used to watch the (expletive) 'Love Boat' together, and he wants to get the role of 'Isaac the Bartender'...you know what I mean? Get a (expletive) grip, dude."

Weeks later, White told the DAM morning show he was not talking to Jackson after subsequent reports confirmed he had taken the role and was on set in Vancouver.

"I'm so mad at Rampage over this," White railed. "Rampage is a guy we've obviously taken under our wing the last few years, really like him, and have done a lot of good things for him, and for him to do this to me, and pull out (of UFC 107) and do this goofy A-Team movie, I'm not happy about it at all."

Yet at a post-fight press conference for UFC 103 last Saturday, White said he had mended fences with Jackson and the Evans fight would likely be pushed to March 2010. In the same breath, he pointed blame at "Hollywood agents" who he felt had manipulated his fighter.

"They got him thinking that they're going to make this movie for nothing, and then the sequel he'll make $20 million," said White.

In his blog posting, Jackson said White's claims pushed him to quit.

"He was talking bad about the movie when information is not even supposed to be released and talking about payments which is not even true could really hurt my future acting career," wrote Jackson.

Jackson said the slight was the last of several that began when the UFC acquired his contract from the now-defunct World Fighting Alliance in 2006.

Among his grievances, Jackson said White rushed him into a title shot with Chuck Liddell, failed to recognize his accomplishment when he unified the Pride and UFC belts against Dan Henderson, and mislead him about his path back to the light heavyweight title.

"I reinjured my jaw in the fight with Vanderlei (Silva) & Jardine," wrote Jackson. "Frank Mir gets hurt so they wanted to switch my fight from UFC 100 to the fight Frank couldn't make (at UFC 98) but I couldn't fight cause I needed jaw surgury. So they give (Lyoto) Machida the fight against Rashad and they told me they want me to coach TUF season 10 against Rashad. That's why I wanted Rashad to win so bad but when Rashad got knocked out 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.

"After I signed the contract Dana then changes his mind & says I have to fight Rashad & even told me what to say in the press & so my fans think I was scared to fight Machida. After all that I still never complained and I did it all."

Until he landed the role originally played by "Mr. T.," Jackson had but flirted with acting, playing small roles in B-movies like "Confessions of a Pit Fighter," "The Midnight Meat Train," and "Never Surrender." The "A-Team" remake, directed by Joe Carnahan, was his highest profile project to date.

"I still feel the UFC is a great organization and I felt like I was very loyal to them but they didn't respect my loyalty but I wish the UFC the best," he wrote. "I did a lot of things for them. I wish no bad blood between us but I have kids and a family back in Memphis to provide for and thats all that matters to me!"

Jackson is currently under contract with the UFC, though the promotion's standard contract has a retirement clause that allows him the possibility of not fulfilling the number of fights left on his deal, with the exception of fights outside the UFC.

Jackson and UFC representatives were unavailable for comment
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