A victory over Hamill puts him in line for another shot at the title he last held in 2008, prior to losing it to Forrest Griffin. But Jackson’s concern doesn’t lie with retrieving his belt. “Since I’m not fighting for the title right now, it doesn’t mean anything to me,” Rampage says. “I don’t look past my opponents.”
It wasn’t until Hamill said he was going to break Rampage’s will that the former champ expressed interest in destroying the rising star. “I wasn’t excited (about the fight) at all,” he says. “But then again, not a whole lot gets me excited.”
Although he may have appeared to lack the motivation to fight Hamill before, as the fight inches closer, Rampage reveals that he is certainly not looking past what will be staring at him across the cage in Las Vegas.
“The last time I took an opponent lightly, I lost my belt,” the Memphis born fighter reveals. “I’ll never do that again.”
Asking Rampage questions about the past or future fights is like pulling teeth. For the most part, he’s short and to the point. He also won’t divulge information about his personal life, because that’s nobody’s business but his own. “I don’t want people all in my business,” he responds when asked why he doesn’t talk much about his life outside of the cage. “I didn’t start fighting to become famous so I try to keep my personal life as personal as possible.”
The only thing that he will discuss is that his career will likely end at the age of 35. With his 33rd birthday around the corner, that means we’ll only get two more years of trademark slams and blistering punching power. When June 20th, 2013 hits, it’s all over. He has always stated that there’s no interest in growing old as a fighter. He’s already plotting his future as a potential movie star and passed his first test with flying colors when he took on the role of B.A. Baracas in 2010’s “The A-Team.”
“I think movies have a longer career than fighting. If anybody doesn’t believe that, then they are foolish as hell,” Jackson says. “You can’t fight forever but you can do movies until you’re old and grey. I think it makes much more sense. I’ve always said that I would retire at 35, before I’ve even done one movie though.”
With so much accomplished, Rampage is a certain hall-of-famer who has given the sport everything from devastating knockouts to his trademark howl. With nothing left to prove, he could leave the sport tomorrow with his status still intact. But the bottom line is that Rampage likes to beat people up. This is his job and he’ll ride it out to the end, despite what anyone thinks about him.
“I don’t have anything left to prove. I’m just being me and you can take it or leave it. I can’t change the way I am, I don’t try to be somebody I’m not and I don’t fuckin’ front in front of the cameras. I am who I am and I don’t see myself changing anytime soon.”