Interview With Papa Rampage, Quinton Jackson’s Father

by: Jack Bratcher

I’m from Tennessee and by sheer coincidence I got the great privelage of speaking to the Father our state’s most notable and famous Mixed Martial Arts Fighter: Quinton Jackson. Mr. Charles Jackson still lives in Memphis and probably lives a comparatively simple life compared to the UFC Champ. We’ve all heard interviews with Quinton and know what a great personality he is and add to that the accomplishments he’s had inside the cage and you get one extraordinary human being. A story always has a beginning and the story of Rampage really is one of the great American sports stories. So lets go back to the beginning and talk with the man who is responsible for bringing Quinton Jackson into this world, his father, Mr. Charles Jackson.

ProMMA: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. Could you tell us what Quinton was like growing up? What kind of kid was he?

Mr. Jackson: Quinton was a normal rebellious kid with a little more attitude added on. A little more hard-headed than usual, it took him at least five times per incident to learn his lesson. I was there every time for that discipline. When Quinton was a toddler, he cried all the time. To get his way he used this technique to get what he wanted because his siblings would obey his demands so he could stop crying. In junior high school he started to get into a lot of fights.

ProMMA: How many brothers and sisters does Quinton have?

Mr. Jackson: Quinton has 2 brothers and 2 sisters.

ProMMA: I’m sure you must be very proud of Quinton and all that he’s accomplished. When did you realize there might be something to “this fighting thing” and that it was going to be a very successful career choice for Quinton?

Mr. Jackson: Yes. I didn’t realize it until i went to one his fights in Memphis. I attended the event, but as turned my head to talk to someone the fight was over. I missed it. We did not think much of it at first because in Memphis you could not get paid for fighting. We thought that was law in all states. But i knew he was going to be great in whatever he does. For a split moment I thought boxing was going to be his sport of choice.

ProMMA: I know that you told me you and Quinton’s mother watched Quinton on television on “The Ultimate Fighter.” Have you and Mrs. Jackson had the opportunity to attend one of his fights live and in-person? If you have seen him fight live how was it for you; was it hard to watch and were you worried about him in the fight? How did his mother deal with it?
Mr. Jackson: Definitely, I have been to every fight since the Chuck Liddell fight. My confidence level is so high with him, that I am very comfortable to go to all the events. It’s hard to take it all in that this is my son walking down that aisle defending his title. I’m like a character in a fairy tale. His mother doesn’t like to go because she is scared that he might get hurt while she is there, but she will attend her first live fight against Forest Griffin.

ProMMA: Everyone seems to love Rampage and alot of it has to do with his personality and sense of humor. Where does he get his great sense of humor? Does he get that from you or his mother?
Mr. Jackson: From me. I call Quinton “Mini-Me” because acts just like me when I was his age and some people say we look like twins.

ProMMA: Mr. Jackson, did you ever do any wrestling or boxing? Why do you think Quinton chose to be a professional fighter?

Mr. Jackson: I boxed for the golden gloves when I was young, so I thought anything that I tried in my lifetime, that one of my children might do as a career.

ProMMA: Quinton fought over in Japan and became very popular there. Have you noticed a difference in your own life now that he is becoming so popular here in the United States? Have things around Memphis been any different for you?
Mr. Jackson: Yes. sometimes I get “Red Carpet” treatment when I’m with him. Recently we went to a Lakers game (behind the bench) courtesy of Kobe Bryant. I’ved gained a lot of friends now. Just the littles things. Everything is the same in Memphis, not alot of hooplah in here. It’s just now getting a buzz.

ProMMA: Do you think Quinton will ever move back to Memphis?
Mr. Jackson: Yes. actually, he takes Memphis everywhere he goes. If you noticed, his fight shorts always have Memphis on them. Memphis is his home. He’s just commuting. (hahaha) Seriously, Quinton loves Memphis, I know he will come back after he is through with fighting.

ProMMA: How do you think the people of Memphis would feel about the UFC holding an event here with Quinton as the main event?

Mr. Jackson: That is exactly what Memphis is waiting on. Tennessee has just passed legislations legalizing MMA in Tennessee. Now we are waiting on a commission.

ProMMA: Could you tell us a story from Quinton’s childhood that his fans would find funny?
Mr. Jackson: Ok. You know Quinton is always telling bad breath jokes. Well I was the first to start it with him. We were in McDonald’s one day, Quinton was deciding on what to order. He said, “I don’t know what I want.” I replied “You know what you need to order?” he said, “What?” I said, ” You need to order a great big Tic Tac.” It was funny. Everybody was laughing. From then on, we would always joke on each other’s breath.

ProMMA: Forrest Griffin was the other coach that was on The Ultimate Fighter with Rampage. He will be having a fight against Rampage on July 5 for the Light Heavyweight Title. Who is going to win that fight between Rampage and Forrest Griffin?
Mr. Jackson: You know my son is going to win. Forrest is a small 205lb, Quinton is the most solid 205lb in MMA.

ProMMA: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us Mr. Jackson. We wish you and your family the very best. Also, we wish Rampage the best of luck in his upcoming Title Fight. Take care sir.