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Rampage’s real world issues

Dann from MMA Junkie voices his opinion (yes, he has them from time to time!) on Quinton Jackson’s chances this Saturday:

This fight may look competitive on paper (even with Jackson’s two previous losses to Silva), but there are some very important real-world issues the oddsmakers seemed to have forgotten. Just five months ago Jackson was in a police chase. Let that sink in: an actual police chase in which he fled from cops, dodged spike strips and allegedly hit other cars before he was apprehended at gunpoint. It’s not exactly a fender-bender we’re talking about.

He was also went to a mental-health facility after friends and family were worried about his sanity and well-being. He broke up with a longtime trainer who was also like a best friend, and every indication points to a less-than-amicable split with some very serious allegations about money. And while switching teams has yielded wonderful results for many fighters, Jackson’s was born more out of necessity.

He’s obviously cleaning up his life and has a great team with Wolfslair, but that’s a ton of baggage he’s bringing into a fight with an extremely dangerous opponent — one who’s already beaten him twice before in brutal fashion. I still consider Jackson the world’s No. 2 205-pounder, but like the oddsmakers for this event, that ranking requires me to ignore some very relevant real-world concerns.

I’m torn … I think Quinton is twice the fighter he was when he faced Wanderlei before, while Wanderlei has gone the opposite direction. On the other hand, I just can’t convince myself that all the crazy shit Dann described above isn’t going to affect Rampage for the worse. In the end, I simply can’t speculate on what may or may not be going on in Rampage’s brain. I’m going to go forward with the assumption that skill will be the deciding factor on Saturday. I’m picking Quinton to win, but if he suffers a mental breakdown in the cage I’m not exactly going to be shocked.