Quinton “Rampage” Jackson: It was so stressful preparing for this fight

Tonight will mark the return of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to the UFC octagon as he will meet Fabio Maldonado in the co-main event of UFC 186.

Jason Floyd - The MMA Report
Jason Floyd – The MMA Report

Jackson (35-11) self-terminated his contract with Bellator last year and signed with the UFC. After the UFC announced that Jackson would face Maldonado in the co-main event of this fight card, Bellator filed legal action to stop the fight from happening.

On April 7th, a New Jersey court granted Bellator an injunction to stop Jackson from fighting tonight, but an appeal court overturned that decision at the beginning of this week and Jackson will now meet Maldonado in a catchweight bout of 215 pounds.

When this fight was initially announced, it was a light heavyweight bout. Why is it a catchweight bout? Jackson explained how this became a catchweight bout and admitted that the past couple of weeks have been very stressful for him.

“We are both pretty big guys but like I said, it was so stressful preparing for this fight that it was hard for either one of us keep our weight down,” Jackson said earlier this week during a pre-fight scrum. “It’s like a system you have to go through to get down to 205. I just think it’s fair for both of us. He is a big guy and I’m sure it bothered him when he was not fighting me as well. It certainly bothered me because even though I felt like I was going to be here, I was not 100 percent certain. It’s just one of those things.”

“There is a lot of things that go into fighting that you guys [media] — if you have never fought, you would never understand. I can sit here and try to explain it to you all day, but fighting is mostly mental. Even the weight lost part of it. My manager understand that as he has been with me when I am trying to cut weight. You have to drink so much water and do all of this stuff. When you stressing out, there is nothing you can do.”

Jackson went on to admit that is situation is one of the strangest things in his career. He never had to take part in this kind of fight and felt like he had to fight just to compete at UFC 186 tonight. He continued to train throughout the entire process and admitted that at times, he was not focused.

“I kept training like I had a fight,” he said. “My coaches would not let me take time off. I kept training like I had a fight. It was just stressful. I remember sometimes I was not focused and I had to be on the phones with attorneys.”

With Rampage back on the card, people that may have been on the fence of purchasing tonight’s pay-per-view may end up buying it. Does Rampage feel pressure to perform tonight because of the fans that are watching this event because he is back on the card? While he does not feel pressure, he wants to put on an exciting fight for the fans.

“I do not feel pressure from it. I am going to come and do the same thing I would do any ways. I plan on coming in and putting on a very exciting fight for you guys. Yes, I hope I get the victory. That is my main objective because it’s my first fight back in the UFC and I want the victory but I want a very exciting fight no matter what.”