Jackson's next step uncertain

CORRECTION -- 07/23/08 -- The truck referenced in a sports story in Tuesday’s Review-Journal as being driven by mixed martial artist Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was not a gift from Toyo Tires as reported, but the athlete is a paid endorser of the company and the vehicle prominently displays the Toyo Tires logo in several places.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is apparently out of police custody, but it still could be some time before it's known how long he will be out of mixed martial arts action.

"I think it's going to be awhile before we get him back. I'm talking as a friend. It's a sensitive issue," Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White said Friday in an interview with Yahoo! Sports upon returning from visiting the former light heavyweight champion in California.

"Rampage, the UFC fighter, who cares about that? We're concerned about Rampage the human being. What matters is his personal life."

Jackson's crazy week began on July 15, just 10 days after he lost his title to Forrest Griffin at Mandalay Bay. He allegedly hit two cars while driving on the freeway in Orange County, Calif., and fled the scene. Minutes later, a police officer spotted Jackson driving with a flat tire and talking on his cell phone, and the officer attempted to pull him over.

Jackson, driving a large pickup truck with his picture and name painted on both sides, tried to elude the officer.

During the chase, Jackson allegedly struck two more vehicles and drove for a time on the sidewalk, causing pedestrians to flee.

Eventually, Jackson's tire shredded away, and he was taken into custody without further incident. Ironically, the truck was a gift to Jackson from one of his sponsors, Toyo Tires.

Early Wednesday, Jackson made bail and was released. According to reports, those close to Jackson felt like he was still unstable. They summoned an officer to check on Jackson around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and he was subsequently checked into a medical facility for a psychiatric evaluation.

White said as soon as he saw Jackson on July 15, he knew something was amiss.

"He was up for four days, and he was doing some crazy fasting thing. He was drinking water and energy drinks, that was it. It's not good," White added in the Yahoo! interview.

"Rampage doesn't do drugs. Rampage doesn't even drink. This whole thing made no sense to me. (Then) when I got there, it made a lot of sense."

White originally said Friday that Jackson was to be held for 72 hours, but that the time period would be extended.

Jackson instead was reportedly spotted at the Affliction card in Anaheim on Saturday night, just after the 72 hours would have expired. White essentially confirmed Jackson's attendance at the rival card, saying he had asked White's permission to attend.

Jackson still has not spoken publicly about his eventful week.

WHITE OFFERS COMPLIMENT, SORT OF -- White has ripped Affliction and its star fighter, Fedor Emelianenko, every time he has had an open microphone in front of him. He backed off the criticism a bit after hearing the results of Emelianenko's fight Saturday night.

White had said the Russian heavyweight couldn't be considered the top fighter in the world because he had not faced a legitimate foe since 2005. On Saturday night, Emelianenko stopped former UFC champion Tim Sylvia in just 36 seconds.

"Tim Sylvia was a real opponent," White said, after conceding that the victory may change his negative opinion of the man many consider the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the world.

He went on to say that UFC star Anderson Silva is still better and that Affliction will be out of business after putting on just one card.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509.


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