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Rampage the Thespian

RampageQuinton Jackson has announced his retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts to pursue an acting career. This screams of a temporary hiccup that will eventually lead to Rampage back in the Octagon, possibly after some Lorenzo led reconciliation. Still, at least at this moment in time, Jackson is retired from the sport.

I couldn’t be happier for him.

As fight fans we (rightly) want to see the most intriguing, exciting fights. We want to see the best fight the best. When Fedor fights a Hong Man Choi the uproar you hear is from fans wanting to see the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time go against top competition. Similarly, when Rampage decided to push his impending fight with Rashad Evans back a few months many were outraged.

And for what? A stupid 1980s movie remake? Haven’t we seen enough of these already to know they’re generally a giant waste of time? Rampage is being selfish and bad for the sport, does he really think he will succeed in acting?

Maybe he will succeed, maybe he won’t, but I hope he does. It’s easy to lose perspective for a sport we’re so passionate about, particularly when someone with as much talent and charisma as Rampage decides to walk away. We can take it as a personal offense. We shouldn’t though. When you boil it down, it’s simply Jackson choosing to go down a different road. A road less dangerous to his health. A road that doesn’t include the strict gym time and training he detests. A road that offers a different challenge and form of personal satisfaction.

Rampage is unhappy with his boss and has a viable alternative option for employment. It’s a situation which most of us can relate. Rampage is in the fortunate position to have a choice where he can leave his current job and take on a new career.

Yes, this could all be a negotiation tactic to call Dana’s bluff. Rampage may very well be talked down from the proverbial ledge within the week. In fact at this early hour most MMA diehards seem to believe this will be a short lived retirement. I can’t say that I disagree with that assessment either. Still, it’s Jackson’s decision to make.

Be upset that we won’t see Rashad vs. Rampage. Be disappointed that a potential title match against Machida may never happen. Or a Forrest rematch to settle the score. That’s perfectly reasonable. Just don’t hate Quinton Jackson the person for making a decision to switch gears to better take care of himself and his family while leaving behind a work environment he is uncomfortable with.

We don’t have to be happy with the choice Jackson has made, but we should be glad that he is able to have the opportunity and freedom to make it.

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