Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson recently did a photoshoot with Fighters Only. While he was with us we talked about a few things including Pride, the UFC, video games and why he doesn’t like having his picture taken.
FO: (taking pictures)
People are always like, ‘Why aren’t you smiling in this picture?’ and I’m like, ‘I never did!’ I never smile in my pictures. All the pictures I have had taken, you will probably find like one or two where I am smiling. You gotta tell a joke or do something to make me smile. that’s the only way. It sucks, I am just standing here and getting pictures taken of me, it sucks. PRIDE used to love taking pictures, and you always had to be doing something. They’d be like ‘bite the chain, bite the chain!’ and I’d be like ‘Bite these nuts!’
FO: Didn’t Pride used to make out you were homeless and having to scavenge for food?
Yeah. They said I was homeless, and people in Japan believed it. It was a gimmick right, but they believed it. At the time I wasn’t homeless, I lived in an RV. I had moved to California to be a fighter, I left everything I had. My family, I had a good job at home… I just dropped everything and moved to California. I was working as a bouncer at the Genovese Club and I just wasn’t making that much money so I lived in an RV. But I wasn’t homeless, they were trying to say I was on the streets and eating out of trash cans that kind of stuff. I went along with it because they were paying me cash money but after a while I got mad at them, I got tired of it. I would be in interviews [shouting] ‘I am NOT homeless!”
FO: Do you miss Pride?
I tell you what, I had some good times over in Pride. The UFC treats me better than Pride but the fans, the whole atmosphere… I remember after the fights in Pride, for the longest time they used to have these after parties right there in the arena. By the time the last fight was over you’d go and have a shower and then in the back room they would have a paty and the owners would talk to you and you would have some of, I guess the VIP fans, who had paid for the expensive tickets. You came back there and had the greatest time, some of the guys would be so cool. I have so much respect for Gary Goodridge, whether he won or lost he would be back there having a good time after the fights. I f I lost I would be all [sad face], moping around, drinking a little beer and eating. Gary would be laughing and joking around. They were the best times, that’s one of the things I miss most about Pride, the after parties right afterwards.
FO: The production was one of the best things about Pride.
The first time I fought there they lowered me down in this cage, I was like 70 feet in the air and it was scary! Me and Sakuraba were in there, he was on one side and I was on the other. I didn’t know him. That was the first time I met him, up in the cage and he reached over and shook my hand. Sakuaraba turned out to be a really cool guy actually.
FO: So what was bad about Pride?
A lot of things man. I don’t know what their problem was but they wouldn’t promote me at all, they cheated me out of money from dolls and t-shirts, not paying me… when my contract was up and we were negotiating and I wanted more money and they were telling me ‘oh but you’re a nobody’. This was after I had fought in the Grand Prix and beat Igor Vovchanchyn. Even after I went to that K-1 fight and represented them in K-1, they were mad I won that K-1 fight! Just stuff like that.
The old president was really cool but he said if I wanted to get on the talk show they had in America, he said ‘you’ve got to kiss the American [Pride] president’s ass’. I don’t kiss ass. Go ahead, I don’t need to do your show. And I think at the time I was one of the most popular American fighters that they had there. So they put some Japanese guy on the talk show - and he didn’t speak English! I was like ’Y’all some idiots’.
FO: Is it true fighters would get two or three weeks notice for even the biggest fights?
Igor Vovchanchyn., I got two weeks notice. Ninja, two weeks notice. It was bad. The tournaments were fixed. They said they drew numbers from a hat.. Pfft. It was all set up for Wanderlei to win. It was really bad. Even in some fights they would stand you up when you were winning, different stuff like that.
FO: We also used to hear that it was often left up to the fighters themselves to get to the hospital if they got hurt in a Pride fight. Is that true?
Yeah, take yourself to the hospital. I remember my people taking me to the hospital. I think they used to have a van there sometimes. But in the UFC if you get hurt even in practice in a fight, Dana will say ‘Come on, come to my doctor’ and they will pay for it. The UFC is really good about that. That’s one thing I really like about the UFC compared to Pride, the UFC is really good like that. But if you got hurt in practice getting ready for a Pride fight… [laughs]. And if you got hurt in a fight, like I got my hand broken over there, they don’t care.
It was just the way they treated you. Not all the fighters got treated like that. The Brazilian fighters got treated well, and CroCop and stuff like that they got treated well but a lot of the American fighters probably feel the same as me. They probably wouldn’t say anything but I don’t care.
FO: Why were you not in the first Pride video game?
Pride were always getting mad at me like, ‘why you never say anything good about us?’ and I would be like ‘ well give me something good to say’ The first Pride video game, they didn’t put me in it because they were mad at me and they know I love video games. They didn’t put me in the video game and they wanted me to promote it. I said why would I promote a video game I am not in? They didn’t want to talk about my money and they didn’t put me in the video game. Then they want a video of you playing the video game - who am I going to use?!
FO: (laughing) Wanderlei obviously!
Ha, yeah. They put Shogun and Ninja in there and they only just came to Pride and I was already there before them. But whatever. Then they made the second video game and put me in there and that game SUCKED. It was weak, I didn’t even play it. I am a big video game guy and I played it once, I threw that shit away.
FO: What are you playing right now?
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
FO: Do you play online and talk to people?
Yeah. Sometimes. Most people don’t believe its me. I aint gonna say my screen name because everybody… ah hell, I’ll say it. I aint gonna accept all their friend requests anyway! My screename is RampagexUFCx2 but most people don’t believe its me, they be like ‘huh, some guy thinks he’s Rampage.’ I just be laughing but some people know my voice and they’re cool.