Monday, May 23, 2011

QUOTABLES: Rampage Jackson preparing to retire in two years at 35

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

"Matt Hamill's a tough guy with good wrestling, and he moves forward. So hopefully it'll be an exciting fight. That's the most important thing to me. Styles make fights. I'm just gonna concentrate on my game and be exciting.

I've always said I'll retire when I'm 35. I don't want to fight past 35. There are young guys coming in and doing good. I've been fighting for a long time and it's no secret that I don't fight the same way I used to.

I've got a lot of injuries, one or two things that bother me. But when I'm fighting, the injuries don't bother me, it's the training that gets old. Going through each camp I go through all these pains and think, 'Man I don't want to do this anymore'. But after the fight I say, 'OK, I'll give it one more'. So who knows? But at 35 I'm done."

-Quinton "Rampage" Jackson talks to the ESPN UK UFC Podcast and gives a timetable on his exit from the sport.

Penick's Analysis: Rampage turns 33 next month, so if he sticks with this timetable for his career that gives him just two more years of active competition. If any fighter was going to stick to an early exit on their own terms from this sport it's Jackson, who has never left any question that this is a sport he competes in for the money, not out of a love of fighting. There is still a lot he can do in that two years, and he may even get another shot at regaining the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, but I think he'll probably end up following through on his desire to retire at 35. If his heart's not in it, he's not going to continue putting himself through the rigors of training camps and competing in the Octagon.

[Rampage Jackson art by Cory Gould (c)]


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