Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is used to playing with himself in video games. He’s been featured in a number of UFC video games over the years. And as an avid gamer, he spends a lot of his free time playing games. He loves shooters like the Halo franchise and is even developing — at least in his head — what a video game based on his comic book, Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier, would be. The always-entertaining fighter-turned-actor talks about his video game addiction in this exclusive interview.
How did you get involved in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)?
MMA chose me. I always wanted to become a professional wrestler. It kind of chose me. I’m from Memphis and I always liked that. Some people go skiing down a mountain for an adrenaline rush. For me, I fight. It’s real. It’s also a way for me to feed my family. It is what it is. Get that adrenaline rush and feed your family, man.
How do you stay grounded with all this celebrity?
Fighting has always been a job to me. That’s why I stay humble. I’ve seen other fighters get big in their heads early in my career. I don’t want to be like that. I come from humble beginnings in Memphis. I don’t want to forget where I’ve come from. I have a lot of values that maybe everyone doesn’t have. I want people to treat me like people did before I got into MMA.
What do you do when you’re not training?
I like to play video games and relax, sometimes I take a nap. But mostly I play video games. I’ve been late to practice or other things because of videogames. I’ve lost a lot of hot girlfriends because of video games. I’ve been told you have to choose either me or the video game. And I was like, “Peace.”
What are your thoughts on your virtual fighter in past UFC video games?
I like playing with myself — I mean [laughs], I like playing with my character in video games because it’s fun. I’m a really big kid. That’s what people don’t know about me. They see this big tough guy with a chain on, howling, but that’s my day job. It’s my alter ego. I like playing video games and I like playing my own character. But I want to make a character that I influence and something that I won’t ever get tired of. Because sometimes when you play [me] in the MMA game I couldn’t kick people in the head. They were like, “Well, you don’t kick people in the head in fights.” I go, “But I do in training.” So I stopped playing because I can’t kick people in the head.
What was it like playing UFC 3 with the Pride game mode where, finally, you could kick people in the head?
I liked the game. I have my complaints because it’s me, personally. I’m a perfectionist. The fans liked it. The game’s a good game. Pride mode was incredible. You can knee to the head and stomp opponents on the ground.
Speaking of Pride, what was it like being part of that Japanese fighting organization?
Fighting twice in one night was the toughest thing I ever done athletically in my life. When I did it I fought two of the best fighters in the world. [Kazushi] Sakurabawas a big star in UFC. At the end of the first round – I’ll never forget this, Chuck gave me one of the most devastating body shots I had ever taken in my life. Wanderlei Silva was one of those guys that was the toughest back in Pride. He hadn’t lost a fight in five years.
What video games did you play when you were growing up?
I’ve been a video game fan my whole life. I loved Mike Tyson Punch-Out, but I could never get to Mike Tyson. I’ve always loved video games, but I’ve never been that good at them.
Did you have time to game working on movies like The A Team? All the time I spent waiting around on a movie set has helped me with video games. Because all I did was play games.
Do you travel with any game consoles? I hooked up two of the old Xboxes and two TVs in my car so I could play Halo anywhere I went. I was addicted to Halo back in the day. I’d sit in the back and play Halo with my friends and let someone else drive me around.
How good are you at Halo?
I’d whoop my friends’ asses. I used to play online against kids until I got my butt whooped.
If you could be any video game character, who would you want to be?
I want to be Master Chief with gold teeth. He’s like a modern day Robocop.
What’s it like seeing yourself in these games?
It looks so much like me, it scares me. Maybe there’s a cyber clone of me and he really lives.
How do video games help you in MMA? I’m a walking video game. When my trainer’s in the corner, it’s like they’re playing a live video game. They tell me what to do and I do it.
You have your own comic book: Rampage Jackson: Street Fighter. What’s your super power?
I last for a long time in bed, that’s the most important super power. [Laughs] I can communicate with dogs because I’m a werewolf. I’m really strong. I was thinking about being able to fly, but then I was like, “I’m a werewolf and werewolves really can’t fly.” But I heal really fast. I have really good hearing. I can smell very good. I smell really good.