Yesterday, Dana White reacted to the news that Rampage had ‘quit fighting’, but not in the way most assumed he would. He showed up as a surprise guest on the Carmichael Dave radio show (anyone know why he puts his last name first, by the way?) and you can listen to that here or read a generally complete transcription of what Dana said over at Fighters Only. Here’s the gist though:
“I have nothing bad to say about Rampage, he is a grown man. This guy decides he wants to walk away from guaranteed good money right now – money he will never have the opportunity to make for the rest of his life, because he wants to make movies – he is a grown man, he can do whatever he wants.,” he said.
“What I have done with Rampage is I have spoken to him as a friend and tried to talk him out of making a bad decision, but he doesn’t think it is. He thinks he is going to have this movie career but there has been so many fighters over the years that thought they were going to have these movie careers [and didn’t].”
“Rampage is a grown man. He is acting like a baby right now but he is a grown man. If he wants to be in the movie business, Rampage, good luck to you man. I hope you make it big, and I am not being sarcastic, because Rampage Jackson is a guy that I actually like and Rampage Jackson is a guy that I know doesn’t always make the best decisions. I hope the movie thing works out for him, if that is what he truly wants to do and what he thinks his career is, I wish him all the luck in the world. I like Rampage, I have no ill will towards him whatsoever.”
Now this doesn’t make all that much sense until you acknowledge the reaction you expected from him was to fly up to A-Team central in Vancouver to throw a lot of money at Rampage to smooth things over. Even people close to Jackson seemed to think this is how the situation would end:
One source close to the fighter characterized his actions differently, telling MMAWeekly.com Tuesday evening that Jackson said he “wasn’t going to fight for the UFC unless they offered him a (expletive) of money.”
Fuckload? Shitload? If this is all about money (and it always is even when people say it isn’t), then the response from Dana is actually pretty good: “Enjoy your movie career, see you in a year when you’re broke.”
Of course, that’s not the whole story … Lorenzo Fertitta is also on the case, and at this point I’m betting he and Dana are playing their good cop / bad cop routine (Dana is still bad cop – he’s just playing the “I don’t care if you don’t confess because you’re going to jail anyways, buddy” card). I’ve already said I think that if push comes to shove this will end up in court, but until (and this is still a very unlikely ‘until’ since I still see this thing getting worked out sooner rather than later) that point comes it looks like the UFC’s public plan is to roll along and pretend like they don’t give a shit. They’re even starting to float options for Rashad’s next fight.