Rampage Jackson is back in Bellator MMA, and his return has opened two potential fights set up somewhat in his second hosting stint on The Ultimate Fighter.
That tenth season, featuring the first ever heavyweight field, had both Kimbo Slice and Darrill Schoonover, the latter man being someone Rampage had heat with. In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Jackson said that’s the fight he’d like the most at this stage.
“Perfect world, I’m not going to lie — I’d really, really want to fight ‘Titties’ from The Ultimate Fighter, because I’ve been thinking about that,” he said. “We almost got in a fight there and he really thought he could beat me. I wanted to beat him up on the show, but I didn’t know if I would go to jail or get kicked off the show.
“He was just a punk on the show,” Jackson continued. “He kind of came at me like he wanted to fight, like he really thought he could beat me up. He was trying to scare me, with the guys saying stupid shit like, look at his tattoos, Rampage, this guy is crazy. Look at his tattoo. And I was like, man what the f*** is that? I don’t care if somebody can sit in a chair and get a tattoo. That don’t mean they’re tough. I know girls who have their whole backs covered, and they trying to intimidate me, look at his tattoos.
“They’re like, oh he’s crazy, he’s some sniper dude from the military, and I’m like I don’t care… he was just pulling at my last nerve on the show.”
Still, Jackson remains open to a fight with Slice, and thinks it’s a bout that Kevin Ferguson might actually take seriously.
“Well, to be honest, when I did The Ultimate Fighter with Kimbo, he kind of mentioned something that he always wanted to fight me and stuff like that,” Jackson said. “And even though Kimbo’s a heavyweight, I’m a big light heavyweight. What I’m thinking is on The Ultimate Fighter, we seen Kimbo get in shape and do well. I don’t think he took Dada serious, and I don’t think he trained hard for him.
“I’m thinking that if I had to fight Kimbo I think he would most definitely train hard for me and he’d probably get in shape. Especially with that embarrassment out there. There’s a lot of people who are kind of embarrassed of that performance from what I’ve read… I’m a fighter — that’s what I do, is fight. It’s been a couple of opponents that I didn’t want to fight that I didn’t think would be a good match up that I fought. I’m interested in finishing my career and entertaining my fans. If the fans want to see Kimbo get slammed and knocked out then…”
Penick’s Analysis: Bellator would probably love to book Rampage-Kimbo. Slice continues to draw monster ratings despite the fact that his fights have continued to be awful, and if they booked this fight it would at least be significantly more relevant and a chance for Jackson to get a massively high profile win. And he should be favored should the two of them fight. It makes much more sense than Schoonover, who while likely available is entirely irrelevant to the MMA scene in 2016. Of course, that hasn’t stopped Bellator yet, so I suppose it’s always a possibility.
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