Rampage lacks focus

DAVE HILSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:13 PM ET

TORONTO - You’ve got to wonder about the focus of Quinton (Rampage) Jackson right now.

On one hand, the former UFC light heavyweight champion says he plans to “whoop” Matt (The Hammer) Hamill in their upcoming fight at UFC 130. On the other hand, he already has his retirement plans mapped out.

Rampage, who has had trouble finding motivation during his career, hasn’t even stepped into the octagon for his May 28 fight against Hamill and he’s talking retirement. The 32-year-old mixed martial artist recently told ESPN UK that he plans to hang up his four-ouncers in a couple of years.

“I’ve always said I’ll retire when I’m 35,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to fight past 35 ... 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.’”

It really can’t be a good thing for a fighter to already be looking longingly past the days when he has to train for a fight. That is was fighters are supposed to love to do.

Still, Rampage says he isn’t taking Hamill lightly.

“I’m gonna try to do to Matt Hamill what I try to do to all my opponents: Whoop his ass. There’s not one doubt in my mind that I can whoop Matt Hamill,” Jackson told UFC.com.

Maybe so. Jackson is one of the toughest guys around when he wants to be. Question is, does he want to be this time? When

the Jackson-Hamill fight was announced for UFC 130, this is what Rampage had to say: “Matt Hamill wasn’t on my radar at all. I wasn’t excited at all. But then again, not a whole lot gets me excited.”

Well, he’d better get excited. Hamill (11-2-0) has won five fights in a row and is the only man to put a blemish on Jon (Bones) Jones’ record (by disqualification). This is probably the biggest fight of his career, a win putting him on the road to a title shot.

Rampage (31-8-0), meanwhile, rebounded from a decision loss to Rashad (Suga) Evans at UFC 114 by narrowly escaping with a decision over Lyoto (The Dragon) Machida at UFC 123. If he can get past Hamill, another title shot is within his grasp.

Maybe that’s all the motivation he needs.

Nod for big nog

After several days of speculation, the UFC has made it official: Brazilian MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1) will face former Arena Football League player and TUF 10 runner-up Brendan Schaub (9-1-0) in a heavyweight bout at UFC 134. Big Nog had lobbied hard to be a part of the Aug. 27 event taking place in Rio De Janeiro. It’s the first time the UFC has returned to Brazil since 1998. The 34-year-old Nogueira, who has not fought since losing to Cain Velasquez last February, will join a card already stacked with top Brazilian talent. Schaub, meanwhile, has tallied four straight wins, including a knockout of Mirko (Cro Cop) Filipvic in March at UFC 128.

Quick hits

Two bouts have been announced for the UFC 130 Prelims Live special on Spike TV, with Kendall Grove facing Tim Boetsch and Miguel Torres taking on Demetrious Johnson during the hour-long broadcast. The UFC also confirmed the three remaining preliminary bouts would be streamed live on Facebook … UFC submission specialist and veteran Jeff Monson (42-11-0) has signed with Strikeforce to fight undefeated heavyweight prospect Daniel Cormier at the promotion’s upcoming Overeem vs. Werdum event in Dallas on June 18. Cormier (7-0) was originally slated to face Shane del Rosario on the card … Speaking of Strikeforce, the organization has signed lightweight notable Maximo Blanco to a multi-fight deal. No date is set for the 27-year-old Venezuelan’s debut. Blanco is best known for a seven-fight stint in the Japan-based Sengoku event series ... It appears as though Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker is slowly being choked out by UFC head honcho Dana White. CagePotato revealed that Coker has been demoted from CEO of the organization to executive v-p and general manager. Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, bought Strikeforce in March … Five bouts have been formally scheduled for UFC 133 in Philadelphia. Rashad (Suga) Evans vs. Phil (Mr. Wonderful) Davis is the marquee bout, followed by Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara, Dennis Hallman vs. Brian Ebersole, Johny Hendricks vs. Mike Pierce, and Riki Fukuda vs. Rafael Natal. ... The injury bug has hit UFC 131 again. This time Mac Danzig has been forced to withdraw from his lightweight bout against Donald Cerrone due to an undisclosed injury. Vagner Rocha will make his octagon debut in place of Danzig.


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