Rampage addresses the three biggest questions regarding his upcoming fight with Rashad Evans this weekend: where’s your head at, how has the training been going, and will you have ring rust?
Has starring in The A-Team movie affected your hunger for the fight game?
“I fight because I am good at it and I knew I could get so good I could buy my mother a car that don’t break down and take care of my family. I didn’t do it to get free drinks from strangers in bars. I was picked on a little at school and had to learn how to fight. Nothing is as important to me as my family but this sport is what I am good at and I got plans to knock a lot of people out yet.”
How do you find the UK?
“I miss my family but I love coming to England. I don’t like the cold or wet so much but the team here are my people. They know I don’t like training but they know they have to push me and make me do it. Everyone in this gym works damn hard. And they make me work damn hard, which is why you’re gonna see the fittest Rampage ever this month.”
Do you worry that time off filming the movie will make a difference to your abilities in the Octagon?
“I was ring-rusty against Keith Jardine and I may be in this fight in Las Vegas. That gives Rashad a tiny chance. Like 0.05 per cent. But don’t go crazy and bet on Rashad.”
We saw Rampage go to underwhelming decisions against Griffin and Jardine, but on the other hand he was primed and ready to knock Wanderlei Silva’s block off when they fought. I doubt motivation alone will carry Rampage to a win against Rashad, but hopefully it will keep him from looking as flat-footed and just overall generally flat as he did in some of his recent fights and more like the Rampage we saw slay the Axe Murderer. And yeah, I’m officially cheering for Rampage now, not because I think he’s a better fighter / human being or more deserving of a title shot than Evans. I just want Rampage / Shogun 2. I crave that fight like plants crave Brawndo.