MANILA, Philippines – Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light-heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson believes American crowds are among the most hard to please in mixed martial arts (MMA).
In an interview with ESPN UK, Jackson explained the difference between fighting in front of an American crowd and a British one.
“I would honestly say the American crowd is the most negative MMA crowd ever,” said Rampage, who has only fought once in England yet gained an appreciation for the fans there.
Jackson fought at the O2 Arena in September 2007, defeating Dan Henderson in the main event to unify the Pride and UFC light heavyweight championships.
“Fighting in front of the UK crowd – it’s the only time I’ve done it – at the O2 Arena, I remember it being a very tough fight,” he said. “I had a lot of fans and support from the UK fans and I had more energy in the fight (because of that).”
Jackson pointed out that the American crowd can be very hostile even if fighters had given their best effort in a bout. The former champion cited the five-round clash heavyweight clash between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez at UFC 155 as an example.
“Look at Junior Dos Santos. He put on a great fight and he got booed. They cheered him when he walked in there and then booed him after a great fight,” Jackson said. “I don’t get that.”
The Las Vegas crowd booed Dos Santos heavily after he lost his heavyweight title to Velasquez and sustained a beating in the process.
Jackson said he is open to fighting again in the United Kingdom in the future.
“I look forward to coming back and fighting over here one day, hopefully I can one day. There’s a lot of great fights. They’re very knowledgeable about the sport,” he said.
Jackson lost to Glover Teixeira via unanimous decision in what he said was his final fight at UFC on Fox 6 in Chicago last Saturday.