Things got very real when, in a particularly profound display of his trademark honesty, Quinton Jackson told ESPN’s “SportsCenter” that he regrets even kicking off his distinguished 17-year MMA career.
“I would have to honestly say that my biggest regret is even starting this sport,” Jackson said. “I gained a lot of fans, I made a lot of money, but I feel like I lost my family. 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 reached MMA superstardom during his stint with now-defunct PRIDE, later going on to join the UFC roster and hold its 205-pound crown. Still one of the most recognizable names in the sport, “Rampage” was also one of the forces behind MMA’s launch into the mainstream. He dabbled in acting, most notably reprising Mr. T’s role as B.A. Baracus in 2010’s remake of “The A Team.”
Currently riding a five-fight winning streak, spread throughout three years amidst legal battles with Bellator, Jackson (37-11 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) is now set to headline Friday’s Bellator 175 opposite Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal (20-6 MMA, 9-4 BMMA). This will be Jackson’s 49th professional MMA fight.
As accomplished as his career has been, the 38-year-old believes he would have lived “a different life” had he stayed home in Tennessee, working in his family’s construction business.
“My dream was to go and be a fighter, but then now I look back on it, and I wish that I would have just stayed back home with my family,” Jackson said.