This is due to a couple of reasons: 1.) It proves that MMA has finally become a mainstream sport with fighters being just a recognizable outside the ring, as they are inside. 2.) It shows that people have grown to have an emotional attachment to fighters and would enjoy seeing them in other outlets.
I completely understand when a fighter has an opportunity to create fame and fortune outside of getting punched in the face. Fighter payrolls are not as lucrative as some think they should be, so why not capitalize on the notoriety fighting has given you and use it in other venues? From Bas Rutten being a guest star on King of Queens, to Tank Abbott, Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn going into the WWE, MMA fighters have taken chances by going where the money is.
Recently, Gina Carano just signed on to star in a feature film with acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh, while Chuck Liddell has set out to do his best Tony Manero impression.
What I don’t understand is when fighters start neglecting their roles as professional athletes. When they care so little for the reason they received their fame, to try and achieve an almost unattainable goal as a legitimate actor.
This brings me to the core of this rant: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
It was announced recently and confirmed today by Rashad Evans that the highly anticipated fight between the two will be postponed due to Jackson’s role in the new A-Team movie.
Again, if a fighter wants to create other avenues for income, there is no reason they shouldn’t, but when it interferes with your career, you have to wonder what’s next? I have no problem with fighters making their money elsewhere, just look at the stuff Bob Sapp pimps, but it should never take the place of your professional obligations.
As was stated in an earlier post by 5 Oz’s, the fight between Jackson and Evans should have been held closer to the TUF Finale. We as fight fans have grown to anticipate the outcome of this show and the fight between the coaches shortly thereafter. Not to mention the great publicity it garnished from the post fight antics between the two after the Evans vs. Griffin fight.
This is like Shaquille O’Neal telling the Cleveland Cavaliers, he’s going to miss the first half of the season because he’s going to be filming Kazaam II. I pity the fool who would accept that as a legitimate excuse.
Maybe I’m wrong but it’s not like Jackson will ever be considered for serious acting roles in which he can make a permanent switch. It’s not like any fighter can make the switch in other roles besides action/adventures.
Again, I may be wrong here, but enough is enough with this acting stuff. From Cung Le to Heath Herring and everyone in between, you’re cheating your fans out of what they came to admire you for in the first place. If fighters want to make money using creative outlets as their source, fine by me, just don’t let it interfere with your real career.