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‘Rampage’ Jackson regrets starting MMA, wishes he remained close with his family

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Now living more than 1,500 miles away from most of his family, Quinton Jackson had to give up being close with them for mixed martial arts. And that’s something he ultimately regrets, despite the fame that has come along with prize fighting.

Quinton Jackson has gone very far in the sport of mixed martial arts. He has won the UFC light heavyweight championship, is known for his outgoing personality and the “Rampage” slam, and is ultimately a star who will be remembered. But perhaps to some surprise, Jackson’s biggest regret is becoming a prize fighter in the first place.

“I would have to honestly say that my biggest regret is even starting this sport,” Jackson told ESPN. “I think I would’ve lived a different life if I would have stayed home in Memphis and worked at the family business. I’d be closer to my family and growing old with them instead of living out in California with all of my family back at home. My little sister’s all grown and stuff now; I left home when she was like eight. My dream was to go and be a fighter. But then now when I look back on it, I wish that I just stayed back home with my family.”

Though “Rampage” wouldn’t have been the well-known figure he is today had he just worked construction with his family, the longtime fighter can’t express enough how much better his personal life would be had he never stepped into the cage.

“I gained a lot of fans, I made a lot of money, but I feel like I lost my family,” he said. “I don’t see them, I don’t know them. My parents are getting older, and I’m living in California away from them. I have my own family here — my kids and stuff — but I miss my cousins, my parents, and my sisters and brothers.”

Jackson (37-11), who holds notable wins over Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva and Lyoto Machida and is known for his runs in the UFC and PRIDE FC, is currently signed to Bellator MMA, a rival of the UFC, and undefeated under the organization’s banner. Most recently, the 38-year-old defeated Satoshi Ishii by split decision last summer.

“Rampage” is set to meet Muhammed Lawal for the second time in the main event of Bellator 175, which takes place on March 31. Jackson defeated “King Mo” at Bellator 120, which marked the organization’s debut on pay-per-view, in May 2014.

Most of Jackson’s career has been contested at 205 pounds, but his rematch with Lawal will take place in the heavyweight division.

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