"That fight with me and Forrest ain't going to the judges. I'm going to be victorious and I'm going to win that fight in exciting manner; whether it's knockout, TKO, submission or getting him to tap out, something's going down. Something is going to happen. Forrest ain't going to make it to the 5th," stated UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as he talked about his clash this weekend with Forrest Griffin at UFC 86. You don't want to miss another classic Rampage interview as Jackson shares his thoughts on Griffin, CB Dollaway, Brandon Vera and Anderson Silva moving to light heavyweight as well as the possibilitiy of coaching again on The Ultimate Fighter with Wanderlei Silva. Check it out!
PC: How have you been doing bro?
RJ: I've been doing alright man.
PC: Is training going good?
RJ: Everything is great!
PC: I wanted to talk to you about "The Ultimate Fighter" a little bit. How was that experience for you and is that something you would do again?
RJ: I don't know. I've been saying that I won't do it again, but I've been thinking just today because my momma asked me will I do it again. You know what? I lost in every fight and I lost the Finale because CB didn't win. I feel like Forrest knew a little bit more about "The Ultimate Fighter" than me because he was on the show. I never really even watched the show. I watched like a couple of episodes off of the first season because it came on at 10:00. I was either training for my own fights or out in the streets (laughing) at 10:00 at night. I never really got a chance to watch the show so now I know how it goes and I'm thinking, maybe down the line, I might want to give it one more try. I just changed my mind about that today so that's funny you asked me that question; everybody been asking me that.
PC: Yeah, I remember you told me it took up too much of your time.
RJ: Yeah, and I've been saying, "No, I won't do it again!" Yeah, but maybe down the line I might want to give it another try. I'm still kind of partial on it.
PC: I could see the UFC putting you and Wanderlei as the coaches to get that 3rd fight jumping off.
RJ: Yeah, that would be cool. I don't know though because me and Wanderlei don't get along at all for nothing. Me and Wanderlei really don't get along. I tried to get along with him over the years because that's the kind of person I am, but he's the type of fighter that thinks everybody should be scared of him and I never was scared of Wanderlei. I ain't scared of no human and even though Wanderlei ugly as hell, that is no reason to be scared of him, you know?
PC: Yeah, I know you guys can't stand each other. That might be a bad idea to put you two on there together.
RJ: Yeah, that's a bad idea. If Wanderlei was the other coach I wouldn't do the show! I don't need to be around that guy that long. We might get into a fight for real.
PC: CB Dollaway was your ace in the hole. Were you surprised that Amir finished him the same way, but quicker, in the Finale?
RJ: Yeah, I was surprised and I'm pretty sure he was surprised. CB got a lot of learning to do. Sometimes I think his head is bigger than everything else (laughing). I think that's CB's problem. CB was clearly the best guy on the show and the most well-rounded. He was kicking Amir's ass in stand-up and Amir is a Muay Thai fighter. He was doing that both times and he decided to take him down when he was winning in stand-up and I don't understand that. He got a lot of learning to do. I think CB will still be a good fighter. It really wasn't meant for him to be "The Ultimate Fighter". He had two chances.
PC: On the show, you said your fight with Forrest would not go to the judges. Do you stand by that?
RJ: I'm telling you, my fight with Forrest ain't going to the judges. That fight with me and Forrest ain't going to the judges. I'm going to be victorious and I'm going to win that fight in exciting manner; whether it's knockout, TKO, submission or getting him to tap out, something's going down. Something is going to happen. Forrest ain't going to make it to the 5th!
PC: Forrest is a big dude. Have you had some big guys roughing you up in training to prepare for this fight?
RJ: Yeah, most of my sparring partners are pretty big dudes. I'm not really worried about how big Forrest is. I'd rather fight bigger guys than smaller ones. I hated fighting Dan Henderson because he was smaller than me and the same when I fought Matt Lindland. I'd rather fight bigger guys. I've been like that my whole life. I fight better against bigger guys.
PC: A lot was made about your weight on the show. Were you really 250 and were you just enjoying yourself too much?
RJ: I don't know if I was 250. I didn't weigh myself, but I know I was 241 when I went to camp. I ain't going to lie, I was fat as hell; nine months off from fighting and just eating fast food. I kind of I blew up. It was pretty bad. The only time I ever been that heavy was after my fight with Shogun because I was kind of depressed. I was doing some movies and eating real good on set and I just blew up and got fat. I couldn't believe that I had gotten that fat again because I had promised myself after I fought Shogun that I wouldn't get that big again because it was hell training for my next fight and coming back down. You know, everything happens for a reason. I did pretty good and my body held up pretty good in training I just had to diet real strict, train real hard and drink a lot of water. The key to losing weight is to drink a lot of water. The more water you drink, the more weight you lose.
PC: Everyone that I see who is picking Forrest is basing it on your time outside of the cage. They feel your cage rust could allow Forrest to catch you early with something or outlast you late. In training, do you feel like everything is on point?
RJ: I don't think the time off will be a factor at all. It's not 2 years, it's 9 months. I've been through this before when I fought Matt Lindland and I think Lindland was one of my toughest fights to date and I think I did just fine even though it was a tough fight. I think I did just fine. I don't believe in all of that cage rust or whatever. People don't understand that. I'm a fighter and fighting is in my blood.
PC: It's not like you're coming off of a major injury or surgery to where you would be timid.
RJ: Yeah, it's not like I'm coming off of an injury. I've sparred a lot and been well. I don't see that being a factor and maybe if my rust is a factor, because I don't know everything, maybe it will just last a little longer than I expected because I adapt pretty well in my fights; maybe he'll get to the 4th round.
PC: In your earlier fights, it seemed like you were strictly a wrestler. Watching guys like Matt Hughes fall from grace to more well-rounded fighters, how much did becoming an evolved fighter help your career?
RJ: I think that helped my career tremendously because people ain't stupid no more. People are doing whatever it takes to beat you. If you're a decent wrestler, people are working on their takedown defense and trying to evolve. Some fighters will let you take them down and try to submit you. That's MMA; they will expose your weakness and I know I have to improve in everything. Even my wrestling was never really even that good to be honest so I'm just trying to improve in everything. I'm just trying to be a fighter. I'm not just trying to keep myself knowing strictly one art because I think I know everything and when I put it together, I think I do an okay job.
PC: You were larger than life in Japan; a huge superstar. Have you been back over there?
RJ: Nah, I haven't been back in 2 years. I miss Japan a lot and hopefully I can get back pretty soon.
PC: What do you think about Anderson Silva and Brandon Vera fighting at your weight class?
RJ: Well, it ain't my weight class (laughing).
PC: Well, you're the king of it right now, damn!
RJ: I am, huh? More power to them. I think both of them will do very well in my weight class, but I have to say because I am the champion, I like both of them a lot; I respect both of them. I'm really cool with Anderson Silva and I'm very cool with Brandon Vera. He's helped me train several times and I like him and consider him a friend, but if it comes to me fighting them one day, I'm going to do my best to defend my belt if I'm still champion at that time.
PC: Thanks for you time Page. Good luck Saturday night. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
RJ: I just want all of my fans who is rooting for me and want me to win and see me be victorious to picture me knocking Forrest out and if you're not a fan, keep my name out of your mouf!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]