Sometimes as a sports reporter you have the privilege of being right there as history happens. Budd Schulberg chronicled the rise and fall of Muhammad Ali, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was present at the finish line of the very first Olympic marathon and Grantland Rice built Babe Ruth from a hero to a legend.
While today’s UFC 114 conference call did not scale those lofty heights, it did without question transcend all those other calls that have gone before it. Absent were the polite mutterings of mutual respect typical of Shogun and Machida, no sign of the clean-cut all-American confidence that typifies a Carwin or Marquardt.
Instead we had prolonged and heated verbal exchanges whose intensity could perhaps best be recreated by stuffing forty Def Jam Comedy DVD’s into a cannon and firing them into someone’s ear from point blank range. Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Rashad Evans should receive bonus cheques for Call of the Year. They should be presented with golden phones. This conference call rendered all future conference calls between anyone, ever, simply pointless.
It began with an innocuous question about filming the A-Team and quickly veered off course into Rashad Evans accusing Rampage of acting stupid because he is black, while Rampage spent some time wondering aloud about Evans’ sexuality given his penchant for tight shorts and nipple-fondling.
Quotes from the Call of the Year:
"First time I met Rashad was at Gladiator Challenge.. he was dancing round even back then in his little shorts and playing with his nipples. [He beat my team mate] Hector ‘Sick Dog’ Ramirez and then he was asking to train with me and I was like no man, I don’t want to train with you."
"Rashad don’t want to fight. He is going to run, and try and do his little weak-ass takedowns, he don’t want to fight."
“You say ignorant stuff and you perpetuate stupidness. ‘Oh don’t use no big words, I don’t know what that is’. Motherfucker you not stupid, stop acting like you [are] stupid. Stop acting like just because you’re black you’re stupid. I hate that, I cant stand that attitude.”
“He does this little black Sambo [character] and its like, why perpetuate the myth that we are stupid?”
“Oh yeah, like how you quit against Shogun? Lying on the floor all hurt? You aint got no heart, you need to go and see the Wizard of Oz. You are the Tin Man.”
Shifting Gears Moment (© Zuffa…)
Rampage: I don’t like the way he talks, he is real fake and real cocky. For someone who hasn’t really done much in this sport and --
Rashad: Hey I was world champion bro! And I got that belt from somebody that beat you. So I was world champion and got that belt from someone that beat you, so what you talking about?
Rampage: Where’s your belt!? Where’s your belt at?
Rashad: You defended the belt one time and that fight was horrible
Rampage: Your fight with Machida was horrible! You couldn’t even defend your belt, you didn’t land a kick or punch or nothing!
Rashad: Where is your belt? You got a belt?
Rampage: I got three
Rashad: You don’t got a belt
Rampage: Yeah OK, you don’t got nothing
Rashad: You don’t go nothing either, so I guess we are the same aint we?
Rampage: No we ain’t the same, nowhere near the same, not the same
Rashad: Yeah you’re right I am better than you
Rampage: I am glad you think that. You cant do nothing better than me.
Rashad: We’ll see. The best thing about this shit talking right now, we get to see in two weeks. I want you to be at your best.
Rampage: I will be at my best
Rashad: Let me know what I can do to make you be at your best
Rampage: Just show up
Rashad: That’s it? You gonna need more than that.
Rampage: At the end of the day, May 29th, you getting your ass kicked. And all this you putting on me about I am acting like I am stupid coz I am black, you have a weak ass sense of humour
Rashad: Stop acting stupid man, you aint stupid
Rampage: Man shut up, next question