It wasn’t that long ago when “Rampage” Jackson didn’t have many kind things to say about the UFC and the promotion’s brass, but fighting outside the organization has changed his tune.
As 2014 wound down, Jackson relayed publicly that he wasn’t very happy with Bellator, and then in December, the MMA world gasped when it was announced he was returning to the UFC. Bellator took legal steps to prevent Jackson from fighting Fabio Maldonado at UFC 186, but yadda, yadda, yadda, the bout is still going down.
Well, not surprisingly, Jackson was asked about his decision to return to the ZUFFA fold while speaking with the media on Thursday, and here is some of what he had to say (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“I talked to Dana on the phone the other day,” Jackson said. “Dana’s cool. I think we all grew up. I had some problems with some stuff I felt like I was receiving, and [UFC CEO] Lorenzo [Fertitta] and I, we talked about it. So this time if I feel like I should receive some stuff that I wasn’t getting before, I will talk about it first and see if we can’t get it fixed.
“Honestly there’s a lot worse shows out there than the UFC. People think that MMA fighters have been treated bad and stuff like that…there are people out there that don’t care about your one bit. At least in the UFC you can earn a pretty good living. Other places, I don’t see you earning no living like you earn in the UFC.”
There’s no question that the UFC is the world’s biggest MMA promotion, but chances are some Bellator fighters might take issue with Jackson’s comments…like perhaps the newly signed Phil Davis. In other words, it can depend on the fighter’s specific situation.
All this aside, it will be interesting to see how Jackson looks when he throws down with Fabio Maldonado on Saturday. The 36 year-old Jackson won three straight fights during his run with Bellator.
UFC 186 will be hosted by the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.