Quinton "Rampage" Jackson arrested
The former UFC light heavyweight champion, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, has been arrested on charges of felony evading, reckless driving and hit-and-run. Several reports mention Jackson running red lights during the pursuit, driving on sidewalks and sending pedestrians fleeing in terror. Photos from TMZ.com appear to show police arresting Jackson at gunpoint.
In an interesting twist to this story, Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Dana White flew to California to post Jackson’s bail. Seems excessive to me, but it’s good to see White taking a hands-on approach to prevent things from getting out of control. Officers did say Jackson wasn’t intoxicated at the time of arrest, so he’s either literally crazy or incredibly stupid.
The UFC dodged an incredible bullet here. If Jackson was injured or, God forbid, injured someone else, it would’ve been a public relations nightmare. Inexplicably, the entire sport of MMA would be on trial in the court of public opinion. Because the sport is in its infancy on the sports landscape, every incident like this is going to be magnified.
Jackson should be able to bounce back from this with little long-term damage. There are a number of athletes in mainstream sports who have done far worse things and are still competing. Of course, it’s unfortunate that this storyline has to shadow the biggest weekend of the year for the sport.
It’s also unfortunate that incidents like this will draw coverage away from athletes like Anderson Silva (whose Q&A is the post before this! Cheap plug!), but Rampage will bounce back from this. I would be shocked if he didn’t fight again before the end of the year unless there is far more to this story than it appears.