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'Joe Silva should be shot'- Rampage wants out of UFC

ESPN staff
March 13, 2012

Rampage Jackson has made his strongest play yet to be released from the UFC, claiming matchmaker Joe Silva should be "shot in the face", insisting the UFC does not respect him, and even hinting that somebody within the promotion may have been giving his opponents information about his injuries.

Jackson is not a happy man right now, having lost his last two fights and gone 3-3 in his last six. None of those bouts have seen him knock anybody out, which has seen his attraction as a fighter decline in a series of dull fights.

In Jackson's eyes, that is because he is coming towards the end of his current UFC contract - with one fight left - and he believes the UFC is trying to damage his reputation in order to justify a lowering of his pay. Why else, he asks, would matchmaker Silva keep giving an out-and-out striker fights against wrestlers like Ryan Bader?

"I've been upset with the UFC and the opponents they've been giving me. I think Joe Silva needs to be shot in the face," Rampage told Inside MMA. "I'm sorry, but if you got a fighter like me who likes to go out and put on fights, why you giving me wrestlers who are gonna take me down and hump me?

"After my fight with Jon Jones, they told my manager that I was losing my appeal, that rappers and stuff don't come out to watch me fight no more, that the fans don't really like me no more. And it was getting close to the time for me to renegotiate, and PRIDE did the same thing to me.

"For me, the respect is worth more than the money. I'll go fight for some other show for free. I'll prove to the fans that I'm not all about money. I'll go fight for some other show for $5.

"I wish I didn't have to fight. I wish I didn't have any more fights with them (UFC). I'm trying to get out of this one fight."

Like any other fighter, Rampage stands to receive lower pay following back-to-back losses, first to champion Jon Jones and then to Bader. His next bout is unlikely to be the lead of a big pay-per-view, but Jackson is adamant the UFC could still promote him if it chose to do so.

"The fans think that the UFC is the only show in town and everything, but I don't care about money. I make enough money. I got money saved up. I got money that I'm making in other places. If you think I made all my money in the UFC, you're wrong. I didn't make all my money in the UFC. I got sponsors that help me out," Rampage continued.

"And the UFC talking about how they're in a billion homes, they're making all this money, but yet, I'm making less money than I used to make with the UFC. Why is the UFC getting bigger, which means I'm getting bigger, but I'm making less money?

"So, I just don't want to be with them no more. I don't wanna have to fight for somebody no more, if they not really appreciating me. I feel like I've got a lot of fans, and they don't tell me 'thank you' for putting my life on the line to fight, even when I'm injured. So, I'm done with them.

"When you get a fighter like me, that you can promote all around, I can make people laugh and stuff like that, you can promote that guy. You don't try to bring him down or let the fans look at him a different way - you promote that guy.

Rampage claims Rashad Evans was tipped off about his knee injury before their fight © UFC

"But, I don't understand why they don't. They barely promote me. It's the same thing PRIDE did. That's why I left PRIDE. I hope people understand my decision. This is my career. But, sometimes the fans are sheep. They don't know, they just know what they told."

Jackson's most damaging line may well have been reserved for his views on the loss to Rashad Evans, though, when he appeared to suggest Evans had been tipped off about his knee injury prior to the fight.

"The UFC, they're good. The one thing I liked about them is they're very upfront about things. When you get hurt, they send you to the doctors and they pay for everything. You only need to train for the fight. PRIDE wasn't like that. The UFC, they knew I was hurt.

"They knew I was hurt for the Rashad fight, and they still talked crap about me. I did fight Rashad, but because I pulled out for the 'A-team' movie, I didn't get no 'thank you' or nothing like that. What I get is Rashad punching me in the knee. How did Rashad know my knee was hurt?"

Right now Rampage finds himself in the weakest bargaining position since he came to the UFC as a PRIDE champion. He can no longer demand the mega money and, if he does not start performing, he will find his pulling powers have diminished enough for the UFC not to fear losing him to other MMA organisations. That scenario, it seems, has Rampage wanting out now.

"I haven't pulled out of a fight yet because of an injury. My last fight, I should've pulled out, but I didn't. And I didn't say anything, you know what I'm saying? I never say nothing. I just don't get the respect that I should get.

"I was injured [against Bader]. I was barely walking, but I made the fight, and the thanks I get is Dana [White] saying, 'Oh, he looks terrible,' and Dana knew I was hurt. So, after that I was like, 'I ain't putting my life on the line for these guys no more.'

"They know what was going on and they still try to make me look bad. They're trying to make me lose my fan base. In my opinion, that's what they're trying to do. They don't want me to be bigger than the UFC. The movie that I did was bigger than the UFC. I know what's going on, so I'm gonna let them have the UFC.

"I don't wanna be a part of the UFC no more. I'm not that happy in the UFC. I don't wanna be a part of the UFC no more. Just let me go. If they feel like I've lost my appeal, just let me go. I don't wanna keep fighting guys that are gonna lay there and hump my leg and the referee not gonna stand us up. Let me go."

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