Combat sports are defined by their great rivalries. Roberto Duran vs. Esteban de Jesus, Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Wardy, Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler; fighting legends are made by fierce battles of will between competitors at the height of their abilities.
What better idea, then, to revive one of former UFC champion Rampage Jackson’s greatest hits from his long career. No, not his legendary feud with Wanderlei Silva, nor his late career battles against ‘King Mo’ Lawal. It’s time to bring back that one guy he bullied as a coach on the Ultimate Fighter.
Former UFC champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson to fight Darrill Schoonover
Never a man to be above petty wild-ass nonsense, Rampage Jackson has actually been campaigning for this fight for years. Even to the point of talking about it as his one piece of unfinished business after retiring from MMA back in 2019.
“I’d like to do some grudge matches, since I’m old and stuff,” Jackson explained in an interview back in February. “There’s a couple guys I owe some ass-kickings to. For one, Wanderlei [Silva]. Me and him, we fought four times. We’re 2-2. I would like to box him or something different. Even the score. Then Marvin Eastman, I owe him a rubber match. We’re 1-1. And a guy from The Ultimate Fighter, Darrill Schoonover. The guy I gave the nickname ‘Titties.’ He hates me.”
What is it about Schoonover that seems to have so particularly gotten embedded in Rampage’s mind? The ‘Boss’ went 15-8 in his 7-year MMA career, retiring off a loss to future PFL talent Zeke Tuinei-Wily. Despite calling for a fight against the former PRIDE legend on several occasions, Schoonover instead went on to finish his degree in ‘water technology’ and seemingly moved his life on from MMA. But, apparently he didn’t move it far enough.
On a recent episode of his JAXXON podcast, Rampage revealed that he had made his weirdly petty dream a reality.
“The promotor [of UFL] wanted me to fight,” Jackson told guest Luke Rockhold (transcript via MMA Mania). “I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll come back and fight grudge matches only.’ So, I’m going to fight ‘Titties’ from The Ultimate Fighter. He just signed the contract yesterday or today for December,” Jackson said. ‘Yeah, I’ll be in shape. By that time, I’ll be 230, hopefully, and I’ll fight ‘Titties.'”
“The way I got ‘Titties’ to fight was, I told him: ‘Look, if you beat me, I will never call you ‘Titties’ again,” Jackson revealed. “And he was like okay, let’s do this.’…Titties is gonna lose.”
Rampage Jackson is a UFL brand ambassador
This move from Jackson didn’t come out of nowhere. The former Wolfslair MMA talent first partnered with the United Fight League as a brand ambassador back in January of this year, with the promotion looking to make a splash on the American regional MMA scene with promises like full medical coverage and profit sharing.
“United Fight League is the first MMA League and Promotion to provide full medical health coverage to its fighters!” Rampage wrote in a post on Twitter. “Many people / companies talk about the need for it, or that companies SHOULD provide it.
“Well we DID it! With United Fight League”
Moreover, back in June, the 45-year-old revealed that he was already contemplating a comeback, and aiming for Schoonover as his return opponent. Proof positive that if you wish it hard enough it’ll happen, Conor McGregor would be proud.
“So this is what I’m thinking: I really want to promote the UFL, and so I would like to do a warm-up fight there,” Jackson said in a July interview with the MMA Hour. “I’d do a warm-up fight in the UFL and see where that goes, and I still want to do a boxing match before I get too old. I’m 45 now, and I want to get that boxing match out of the way before I get too old.”
“I’m thinking I might fight around about December in UFL, because I haven’t fought in three years.”
For their part, the UFL has yet to official announce the bout—or, for that matter, even officially announce a fight card following their last show on August 12th. That event saw Rampage’s son, Raja Jackson, make his pro MMA debut, losing to fellow debuting fighter Steve Collins via unanimous decision. No word yet on when fans might expect the next UFL card, but given that they’ve currently been on pace for one event every three months, mid-December seems to line up perfectly.
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