(AllHipHop Interviews) The list of occupations for Quinton "Rampage" Jackson reads like the back story for an action comic book character - mixed martial artist, professional wrestler, actor (The A-Team, Fire with Fire).
As the old adage says, art often imitates life, so the logical next step was to transform the former UFC Light Heavyweight champion into a super hero in Lion Forge's Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier.
The digital series follows the story of the celebrated fighter after he has gained super abilities from a meteorite. Street Soldier uses his new powers to defeat menacing villains bent on harming everyday citizens and his personal friends.
While the comic version of Jackson battles evildoers like Mr. Walters, the real-life Rampage is prepping to fight competitor-turned-teammate-turned-foe Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. The highly anticipated event will take place at Bellator 120 in Rampage's hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. After King Mo, Jackson says he wants to add another line to his resume by switching sports to face heavyweight boxer James Toney.
Rampage Jackson spoke with AllHipHop.com about Street Soldier, training for the King Mo bout, his beef with Toney, and more.
Why did you decide to partner with Lion Forge for your own comic book?
Lion Forge is a great company. They have great titles like Airwolf and Knight Rider. I grew up reading comics, so having the chance to have my own comic book is crazy. My MMA fans love seeing me as a comic book hero.
So the feedback from your fans has been good?
Yeah, they’ve hit me on Twitter to tell me how much they like the comic book.
How involved were you in the creation of the character and storylines?
Even though I grew up as a comic book fan, I’m not an expert. So the writer David Gorden and artist Leonardo Romero really did a good job creating the character. I did sit down with them and gave them ideas.
What Hip Hop artists do you think would make good comic book heroes?
I really like that movie RZA did – The Man With The Iron Fists. I don’t know if that came from a comic book, but RZA would make a great super hero. And Ice Cube. Everything that guy does from music to movies is great. I thought he could have played B. A. Baracus in A-Team. I could definitely see him as a super hero.
Is it possible a Street Soldier movie could be in the future?
I think that it could happen. I would love to see that one day. There’s so much you can do with the character – movies, video games, cartoons.
You have a fight coming up against King Mo. The two of you have a long history including the infamous van argument and that heated press conference. Does that longtime rivalry play a part in your psychological preparation for the fight?
Yeah, definitely. Everybody knows I hate training, but I’m training so hard for this. I’m sore all over. Even though I hate training, I’m pushing so hard for this fight just because Mo talks so much s**t. I just want to shut him up. I’m gonna whoop his ass.
Speaking of talking s**t, I saw you had a back-and-forth online with James Toney. What was that about?
Man, after Mo I want to fight Toney next. Actually, I want to fight him in his own sport. I want to face him in a boxing match, and then come back to MMA. We already saw he sucks at MMA, so I’ll beat him at his own sport to shut his ass up. I don’t think boxers should even be called fighters. Just call them boxers, because they don’t have the skills of real fighters like mixed martial artists.
The Bleacher Report called your entrance song “You Ain’t Stopping Me” by Al Kapone one of the scariest entrance songs of all time. What other Hip Hop songs would you use as an intimidating song to walk out to?
I always pick songs that connect to something with that fight. One song that I always wanted to walk out to was that song where they say "get on my level” ["Neva Eva" by Trillville]. Livan recorded a new song for me to come out to the ring to in my next fight called “Man Up.” My fans will actually get to buy it off iTunes.
You’ve had a successful career in sports and entertainment. What motivates you to continue crossing over to so many different mediums and art forms?
I just love to entertain people. I always say I see myself as a comedian that pretends to be a fighter. I can’t do stand-up, but I enjoy seeing people laugh. So when my fight career is over I want to continue to entertaining my fans in other areas. I want to do more movies, comic books, video games. People think I’m a violent person. I’m not. I love having fun, telling jokes. That’s what motivates me – entertaining people.
How much longer do you think you’ll keep fighting?
I’m only 35, so I have more years left in my career. But I’m kind of bored with MMA. It used to be so many styles. Everyone’s the same now. I love this sport, and I’ll always give back to this sport. That’s why I started my Rampage Fitness Academy for amateur fighters out here in Mission Viejo. I want to groom the next generation of MMA fighters to keep the sport alive. I will always have love for this sport that gave me so much, so when I’m done I will continue to be involved in MMA in some way.
For more information about the Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier comic book series visit http://lionforge.com.
Rampage and King Mo face off at Bellator 120 in Southaven, Mississippi’s Landers Center on May 17, 2014. For more information visit www.bellator.com.
Check out images from Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier in the gallery and the comic book's trailer below.