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Report: Rampage Jackson splits with Juanito Ibarra; UFC looking towards November fight with Silva

After Rampage Jackson’s police chase hit and run incident in Costa Mesa, much speculation was going on in the MMA circles that he had split with his manager and trainer Juanito Ibarra. Josh Gross is now reporting that as fact in his new SI.com article:

With defeat as the impetus, Jackson responded to rough terrain by relieving the trainer of his duties, though “bottom line, somehow, someway it all involves money,” said the fighter’s friend.

Something major must have happened between these two for Jackson to drop Ibarra. Jackson gave almost all the credit for his rebirth as an elite light heavyweight in the UFC to Ibarra’s teachings, not only about the fight game but about spirituality as well. Numerous times Jackson has been quoted as saying that he owes everything he has now to Juanito and that Ibarra truly turned his life around. Whether it’s money, rash decisions, the loss to Forrest Griffin, or a combination of these and other factors, it’s a truly sad state of affairs that these two have had a falling out.

Not only does Gross report on that issue, but also gets some insight into Rampage’s current condition and the condition that he was in at the time of the arrest from an anonymous friend:

Rampage demanded silence when he wasn’t offering words of faith. He spoke of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and people aligned with the devil.

“Mentally he wasn’t there,” said the source. “It was almost as if he was possessed. He heard voices. He thought he was a God.”

Three days later, rested and nourished, Rampage was reunited with friends.

“He would still make comments that were slightly weird,” said Jackson’s longtime associate. “You could tell that he wasn’t all the way there, but each day you could tell he was better.”

Against lawyers’ advice, Jackson has gone out several times. Fan requests for autographs at a local mall have been happily fulfilled. His only other trips are to outpatient treatment, which he attends daily.

“He knows what he went through,” said the source. “He knew he had an emotional breakdown that led to a mental breakdown. Not eating and not sleeping kind of helped with that.”

The piece goes on to say that if things continue to go well for Jackson that the UFC is interested in having him fight on a card in November against Wanderlei Silva for the third time in their storied careers. Silva is one fighter that has had Rampage’s number, defeating him twice in PRIDE. The second defeat is widely known as one of the most vicious beatdowns in MMA history. All I know is, for someone who has been on such a mental rollercoaster ride in the past two weeks, even fighting this year seems to be a stretch. The number one priority, for Jackson and the UFC, should be getting Jackson mentally healthy.

I think a fight against Silva is a fight we’d all like to see, as I think Rampage is a much better fighter than the last time the two fought and it would be another classic battle, but I’m willing to wait until Jackson is in prime shape physically and mentally so we can see the best Rampage possible inside the cage. I think November may be rushing it for as serious as his illness seems to be, and Dana White even said he thought it would be awhile before we saw Rampage back inside the cage. I just hope, for their sake and his, that they take things seriously and don’t push him into something that he’s not mentally ready for.

29 COMMENTS
  • DamonO says:

    Well I’m certainly glad to see that Quinton is doing better. Going out in public and signing autographs is a sign of life in someone who had such a tragic situation recently. Words of advice, don’t fast like he did. We love ya Page and wish the best for your health brotha.

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  • William W. says:

    For the UFC to even consider putting him in there with Wanderlei so soon after this breakdown is a disgrace. Especially given how the article highlights how poorly Rampage did against Wanderlei following his first breakdown.

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  • woooburn says:

    i agree. putting him back in the cage that soon, against WANDERLEI could be bad. we saw his reaction to losing the belt. can you imagine the implications if we loses to silva for a third time? seems like a dangerous choice. I wouldnt even mind him getting a can to get back on track, to build some confidence. plus, if he’s truly parted ways with ibarra, he’s gonna need to switch to a different camp, no?

    p.s. like the look of the new site. well done gents.

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  • Echolocating says:

    Sometimes the best way to move forward is to push through the difficulty. I think if he disappears for a year, it’ll be the worst thing for him.

    He needs to surround himself with good people, watching his every move for the next while, keeping him on track to help him get through this.

    He is truly one of MMA’s brightest personalities and I hope to see him back in the cage when he feels that he’s ready.

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  • batman says:

    I think it’s funny how rampage can treat life like it’s bumper cars and all dana white cares about is his next dream match. When Jesse Taylor breaks a window Dana White freaks out and fires him on the grounds that it was unacceptable for the company. Ok then what about Rampage shouldn’t Dana white fire him.

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  • mo says:

    my guess is the UFC is putting him back in there at Rampage’s request. And unfortunately #1, i don’t think Quinton is doing better. Reading Gross’s article points to this being an issue for years, and luckily it was able to be hidden. I am glad to hear he is attending his outpatient appointments, and hopefully he stays with them.

    Hopefuly he gets the help he needs, but what is the best camp for Rampage to join with now. I think one that has a big support system, and i think he should go to Greg Jackson’s camp. I think Xtreme Couture would look good, but I just get the impression that Greg Jackson seems to be there for the guys he corners.

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  • Rich S. says:

    the splitting with Jaunito is really a shame..

    i hope Rampage isn’t changed for ever after all of this stuff..
    i hope he can get right back in the ring, and fight like the good ol’ rampage we know and love..

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  • Noah says:

    I am under the impression that Forrest trains at Xtreme Couture, I don’t think that Rampage would really want to train there. Not to mention that Xtreme Couture may not want him there. I don’t think it’s because they can’t get along, but c’mon, do you really think Rampage would end up at Xtreme Couture?

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  • mike wolfe says:

    The guy is in no condition to make big decisions about who to fight and when and with whom to train. Apparently the people around him recognize that, which is reassuring. It doesn’t sound as if White is trying to push him into a premature return to the octagon. According to the excerpt, IF Rampage is doing well, THEN White will consider a fight in November. I don’t think White will tell Rampage he can’t fight. That wouldn’t be good for Rampage’s stability or recovery. Stay positive and take it one day at a time. Who knows? Maybe he’ll bounce back in a few months.

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  • Shrug says:

    The new site design is pretty iffy… At least it isn’t all MMA Junkie and death like.

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  • doubleA-ron says:

    the axe murderer will win this fight and then take on forrest to become the champ

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  • MJC_123 says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is about fighting Wanderlei…Yes I have seen the beat-downs, Silva gave Jackson in Pride and remember wincing at the time BUT if his mental health does sort itself out and importantly his medical team give him the all clear and the UFC get news of this from Quinton himself then a fight against Wanderlei makes perfect sense.

    What do you want too do? Feed him a few cans because he had a mental breakdown? I am a huge Jackson fan like the rest of you, but if your fit enough to stand in the cage you should fight the best.

    If hes not mentally fit/sound or proper he shouldn’t be fighting at all…A loss to Wanderlei would look alot better on his resume than a loss to a C-Caliber fighter.

    Wanderlei offers many avenues for Rampage, a chance for redemption, a big fight without the pressure of being the champ, proof that the UFC are supporting him regardless of his criminal misdemeanours, and a victory puts him right back in the title frame.

    A loss makes Wanderlei the no.1 contender thats for sure.

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  • fightfan says:

    Props on SI.com for FINALLY getting an update on Rampage. Props go out the FIRST one to hear from Juanito ansd what he has to say. That will be a good interview!!!

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  • fightfan says:

    Sorry for double

    And is that a punishment for Rampage???? After all his mental issues and troubles, is it really a good idea to put him against the guy that kneed the living shit out of him TWICE for his first fight back??

    For someone having mentall problems….Putting him against a guy that probably brings back some ugly mental pictures is NOT a good idea!!!!

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  • Mark Aulet says:

    Can we center the articles on the site more. Looking left or right isn’t friendly on the eyes.

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  • darkmetal says:

    Sometimes the best medicine for a fighter is to fight again; the psychology is something that non-fighters do not understand. The average person thinks you have to sit on the beach and chill, but to a fighter, that time is spent thinking “What if I had done…” and replaying your loss over and over.

    Depending on who trains Rampage, he can come back and does have it in him to win against Wanderlei. If you have become champion once, you can do it again. And no man is unbeatable, period.

    We did not see the best Rampage when he fought Forrest. We must support his path, and know that at the very least, he is a great guy. He is certainly weighing his actions as he recovers, and that alone must be very hard.

    God bless Rampage, may he rise like a Phoenix and become the man he was once again.

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  • Handover Fist says:

    Hopefully this guy gets someone close to him that sees something other then dollar signs when they look at him.

    Jackson has always been a hard guy to figure out. How much of how he acts and what he says is just being a clown and how much is a guy a that might be a couple fries short of a happy meal. Based on his latest actions, I think its safe to say he probably has some mental issues that need to be addressed.

    It might be best for him if he never steps into the cage again, unfortunately I’m sure all those people he crashed into already have lawyers and back problems that will drain his coffers, so getting back into the cage to support his ever growing family is probably a forgone conclusion whether its in the best interest of his mental heath or not.

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  • Panama says:

    If any of you watched Rampage’s ESPN interview after the weigh ins for the Griffin fight, Rampage looked really screwed up. His eyes blinked in slow motion and he said it was because of his cutting weight, but really, was it?

    He looked messed up. Im not saying drugs but he didnt look right.

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  • MMA SKOOL™ says:

    As I remember, those PRIDE fights with Wanderlei looked thrown. One of em looked extremely suspect, but I can’t remember which one. Even after I saw those fights and was already skeptical, I remember hearing that Rampage mentioned ‘they’ asked him to throw some fights… Wouldn’t surprise me if that was a hint that he did actually throw some fights. (Watch them again for yourself.)

    Will be nice to see them fight a real fight. That’s a good matchup.

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  • portland mma says:

    does this seem like a really bad idea to anyone else?

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  • joetheacupuncturist says:

    Wandi always recieved “special” treatment from PRIDE thats nothing new. The Gross article is downright scary nuts. sounds like ‘page is the crazy old lady from LADYKILLERS

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  • ultmma says:

    Hey rampage

    you just had a complete mental breakdown and part ways with your head trainer…..yeah now sounds like a great time to jump back in the ring with Wandy???

    are you freaking kidding , can the guy get a warm up fight? or at least put off the bout to early 2009

    This like Mir getting in a motor cycle accident and his first fight back is against Fedor lol

    Dude Wandy is hungry do not feed Rampage to him

    give Rampage Chuck when he comes back and watch him beat the iceman for the 3rd straight time lol

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  • TheSomberlain says:

    Everytime a fight doesn’t go a particular way, everyone winds up shouting that a fix is at hand. I can’t even count how many people were crying about a fix in the Forrest vs. Rampage fight. The bottom line is the guy is human, he can be beat (and I think Silva, Rua, and Griffin will testify to this as well). Back to the subject at hand, I wonder what made him split Juanito. It seems everytime he gets his ass kicked he drops all his management (Remember how he dropped everyone and picked up Juanito after Rua defeated him?). He seemed to take the loss with integrity in the post-fight interview with Griffin but it seems that was just a veil. Anyways, Rampage is too goddamn stubborn he will lose the same exact way did before, TWICE. Let’s just hope we see the Wanderlei that knocked Jardine into another reality. Muay Thai clinch all day. Peace guys.

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  • CDF47 says:

    I wish Quinton the best and I hope for a quick recovery from what he has gone through. I can not wait to see Rampage back in the cage when he is ready. November may or may not be too soon. Only Quinton can decide that but when he does return I look forward to seeing him back in top form to get his title back from Griffin.

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  • darkmetal says:

    Ultmma, so fighting Wanderlei is hard, but a rematch with Liddell would be easy? How so?

    Any way you cut it, to put Rampage against a chump is playing the same kind of game as EliteXC is playing with Kimbo Slice. Further, it would be a slap in Rampage’s face to treat him like he is a newbie.

    You have to give Dana White some credit, he isn’t playing nice with any of his fighters, he puts them against real competition. Anything less and people will call “Foul!!”.

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  • j says:

    Rampage needs to go back to Colin Oyama. The reason they split originally was that Rampage pulled a “religious experience” and didn’t eat before a fight. As many people have mentioned, Colin ripped him a new one in the ring during his lackluster performance. Now people should understand why Colin was so harsh on him. Colin is a tough but fair coach, but at this point that is what Rampage needs.

    Juanito was too involved in all of Rampage’s affairs (financially) and I would guess that is what caused the riff.

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  • Razzle says:

    If he fights anything like how he’s been fighting in the UFC, he WILL beat Wanderlei. Silva doesn’t seem to be as sharp as he was in his pride days. On the other hand, Rampage seems to have improved greatly. I just don’t want Rampage to be pushed into any corners. If Juanito screwed him over then he could go to hell. If not, he’s ok. I just want to hear more on his road to recovery, and why he would split with the people he valued so greatly.

    Everyone is dying to see Rampage whoop ass, but his needs come first.

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  • Jesse says:

    dude is kina crazy

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  • B says:

    “batman on July 29th, 2008 11:14 pm I think it’s funny how rampage can treat life like it’s bumper cars and all dana white cares about is his next dream match. When Jesse Taylor breaks a window Dana White freaks out and fires him on the grounds that it was unacceptable for the company. Ok then what about Rampage shouldn’t Dana white fire him.”

    You do have to admit that there is a big difference between having a breakdown and being a drunken douche bag. Not saying what Rampage did was right, but who knows what he would have done if he had gotten fired. Besides, Taylor got his second shot and got whooped.

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