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EXCLUSIVE: UFC legend Rampage Jackson talks Mike Tyson plane fight and ‘shady’ people looking for a lawsuit

Jason Burgos

UFC light heavyweight great Quinton “Rampage” Jackson knows the perils of celebrity. It’s why he understood the reaction of Mike Tyson in his now infamous plan fight video.

Even though the 43-year-old hasn’t competed in close to two and a half years, Jackson’s celebrity status in fight game circles has not changed. Especially, since he has remained in the spotlight through his recent work as a coach for Triller Fight Club, and as one of the stars of the Tubi exclusive film “Lord of the Streets.” Where he plays the film’s villain, Kane.

Headlines were made last week when a video made the rounds of boxing icon Mike Tyson losing his cool on a JetBlue flight and pummeling a fellow passenger after the individual allegedly threw a water bottle and heckled the former heavyweight champion. “Rampage” has been in similar situations before, and feels that many fans don’t realize that their favorite celebrities are just like them, and they can have bad days. So pushing them too far on a wrong day could lead to an aggressive reaction just like it would any other person in society.

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Rampage Jackson: ‘Who knows what Mike Tyson was going through that day’

“What people don’t understand is that we’re humans too. We have bad days. When I’m having a really bad day, I try to stay home because I didn’t name myself ‘Rampage,'” Jackson told Sportsnaut. “I’m the nicest guy in the world but I will lose my temper and I can’t control it. So who knows what Mike Tyson was going through that day. And I’ve met Mike Tyson before and he’s super nice. Super chill. For him to do that, that guy really had to have been bothering him.”

From the one-time UFC light heavyweight champion’s perspective, the only part of the Mike Tyson plane incident that surprised him was the fact that the 55-year-old actually did decide to get physical. In his experience, Jackson says he has had many instances of “shady” people that have tried, and even succeeded, in luring him into a situation that results in a lawsuit. It’s why he tries to avoid it now at all costs.

“If Mike Tyson put his hands on that guy, he had to have been pretty bad,” he says. “I heard the guy was drunk, belligerent, and he just wasn’t a good guy. Personally, I would have it in the back of my mind, ‘This guy’s trying to get me to beat him up so he can sue me.’ So I probably wouldn’t have done it because of how my mind was trained on how people think. Because I’ve had people stick their feet out so I can step on their feet. A lot of weird stuff happens when people are trying to get a reaction out of you. So I try not to let people win.”

“I’ve been sued before a couple times,” Jackson added. “Some people just shady. And people think, ‘I’ll take a beating from Mike Tyson, I’ll get some internet fame and possibly sue him.’ You never know … My question is, why wasn’t there no stewardess or no one there to stop that guy from bothering Mike Tyson? People look at us [celebrities] different. We’re humans at the end of the day.”

Jackson would ‘love’ a Rampage vs Tyson boxing clash

The boxing legend returned to action late in 2020 to face another giant of the sport Roy Jones, Jr. in an exhibition bout. Since there have been many rumors about who “Iron Mike” could face if he returns for another matchup. Jackson says if the opportunity were there, he would love the chance to face Tyson in a boxing battle between two former combat sports champions.

“He’s like my childhood hero. I would love to do an exhibition versus Mike Tyson,” said Jackson.

“Lord of the Streets” with Rampage Jackson premiered on Tubi on April 22. The film also features former hip-hop star Anthony “Treach” Criss, UFC middleweight legend Anderson Silva, former Bellator featherweight champion AJ McKee, and current UFC star Khalil Rountree. You can give the film a watch here.

Jackson has not fought since Dec. 2019 defeat to MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 237.

rampage jackson, mike tyson
Credit: Tubi