Light heavyweight star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has never shied away expressing his desire to hang up his trademark chain and call it a career by the time he’s 35. However, had he defeated divisional king Jon Jones in September it turns out the 33-year old would have seriously considered speeding up his plan, retiring with the belt rather than making any real attempt at defending it.

Jackson’s admission came in a recent interview with Fighters Only where he said, “If I had won that Jon Jones fight and if the Japan show wasn’t next, then there would have been a very good chance I would have retired already. It would have been a great time to bow out,” adding he would have ducked out after putting the gold up for grabs in Japan at UFC 144. Jackson has professed his love for the Land of the Rising Sun numerous times before, lobbying hard to fight on the show and entertain some of his most loyal fans at the historic show.

Without the title in tow, the former UFC/PRIDE champ will use the next eighteen months of his life to attempt to earn one final crack at the strap.

“I still want to retire as champion. I want to hold the belt once more,” Jackson revealed.

The next step in that process will come in two weeks when he rumbles with Ryan Bader at the very event that could have marked his last had things played out differently (UFC 144). Jackson had won back-to-back bouts entering the title-fight with Jones and holds an overall record of 32-9 including past victories over Lyoto Machida, Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, and Dan Henderson.