If fans were asked to name characteristics associated with UFC light heavyweight contender Quinton “Rampage” Jackson it’s likely the word “humble” would not make the cut on most of their lists. However, once you peel back the layers, it’s clear the oft outspoken former champion is completely appreciative of his place in life.
“I thank God all the time and I’m very blessed,” Jackson revealed in an interview on the UFC website. “I keep it real – I’m not an educated person. I went to college, but I’m not one of those people who think they’re smarter than everybody else. I’m intelligent, but I’m not educated, so there’s no way I could be making this type of money in another career. I wasn’t gonna be a doctor or a lawyer, so I’m happy that I can help my parents out and put my little sister through college and buy Lamborghinis and go on vacation and have a nice house to live in and leave stuff for my kids. I’m happy and I’m blessed.”
Jackson continued on to explain that no matter how much his bank account grows he himself will always remain the same.
“Nothing’s gonna change my personality – no titles no money, nothing like that,” the 33-year old began. “I always stayed grounded and stayed humble because I look at this job as a career, just like a doctor or a lawyer or schoolteacher. I don’t think I’m better than anybody else because I’m a professional fighter. A lot of fighters and people, when they have high-profile jobs, they think they’re better than other people, and it can go to your head if you’re not a grounded person. That’s why people don’t understand when I say this is my career and my job. It’s not that I don’t love the sport, it’s that it being a job keeps me grounded. I have a strong father who talks to me all the time, and one of the things he instilled in me as a kid is that ‘don’t let money make you; you make money.’ So people can make fun of me and say I’m just doing this as a job, but that’s just the American Dream. That’s what we were taught our whole lives – go to school, get an education, so you can get a good career so you can make money. That’s me, I’m living the American Dream.”
Next up for the PRIDE veteran is this weekend’s title-fight at UFC 135 against champ Jon Jones who Jackson labeled as “fresh meat”. Fans can catch the event live on PPV starting at 9:00 PM EST with preliminary action coming earlier through Facebook and Spike TV.
MMATraining Take: It’s refreshing to see Jackson opening up to reveal more of his true personality than playing a caricature of himself as he typically does with a microphone in his face. While I’ve never met him, I get the sense “Rampage” is a complex individual with a lot to say who doesn’t necessarily trust the public enough to fully let them in; that he’s cognizant of how cracking jokes and behaving controversially are an easy way of avoiding people digging too deep.