In certain situations, we change personalities. Like when a lady enters a room, we're forced to wear a tie, or we sit facing a judge. Our actions are greatly determined by our surroundings.
Imagine these surroundings: a 750-square-foot octagonal enclosure, with chain-link fencing coated in black vinyl standing as tall as you are.
Put yourself in that cage, lock the door, and realize you aren't alone. Across from you stands another man, similar in size, weight and build. An even match. Realize you must fight that man. You must knock him unconscious, beat him into submission and prevail.
Think your personality would change?
Quinton Jackson prepares 6 days per week, 4 times per day for months on end for the Ultimate Fighting Championships. But for all that Quinton does to get ready for that spotlight battle, he isn't the one who fights. Rampage fights.
The two Jackson personalities are a combined 32-9 in professional fights between the UFC and Pride Fighting Championships (Japan). They are the only man to hold simultaneous titles in both leagues. Some people are just meant to do some things, as if through all the winds and spins of the globe, a man can find a niche perfect for him. For Jackson, it was always an atmosphere of rage.
"My name's been Rampage since I was a little kid," Jackson said. "Growing up, I had the worst temper on the planet. It's still pretty bad, now, if I lose it. But, I've learned better to control it. I feel like God made me to be a fighter: my big neck, my thick chin, my lower legs and the power I generate. My career is fighting; I love what I do."
Of course, those features weren't just bestowed upon the champ at birth. Although he dislikes the training, Quinton puts in the work. And then Rampage gets the glory.
"I don't know if it's in my head or not," Jackson said. "I just know that's the way I've been the whole time."
Beyond the chains and snarls, the exterior as rough as fresh sandpaper, Quinton is a round character. He's more than muscle and slug, more than hype and fights.
"I feel like more than just a fighter," Jackson said. "I've been fighting for a long time, so I just want to branch off and do other things, because unlucky for us, MMA fighters or boxers, or whatever you want to call us ... you can't do it forever. I want to go entertain people in another way. I want to go and act. I want to make cartoons, video games. I want to try to be a stand-up comedian some day. I want to do all these different things."
Quinton has done these things and will continue to diversify his resume, but his main income comes from the UFC, so he must train, especially if he wants to win, wants to reclaim the title he lost. He will complete approximately 20 or more workouts in a given training camp week. This is his regimen:
Training: 6 Days Per Week
- Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, And Ground: With rotating partners.
May be swapped with sparring if it was missed earlier.
- Sprint Day: The hardest one, so I only train once this day. Running, sprints and underwater treadmill.
- Off/Rest, video games, massages, lay in the bed; try not to leave the house.
The intensity changes depending on how he feels. Jackson changed his workouts greatly over the past few years as his body has changed. The changes are based more around his aims, rather than his opponent's fighting style.
"I mostly train almost the same no matter who I fight, because of the type of fighter I am." Jackson said. "Sometimes, if the fighter is a little different or he is crazy in one area, we try to cater to and sharpen-up skills to that. If a guy is stronger than me, I'm going to do a lot more push-ups and pull-ups and body-weight stuff that gets you really strong."
The constant punishment from his workouts puts incredible strain on his body. Months of work and energy expended is protracted into three 5-minute rounds! Championship fights in the UFC last five 5-minute rounds.
To get himself ready, Jackson abides strictly to a diet during training camp, with some exceptions...
Quinton eats 3 meals per day during camp ... plus a snack. No dairy during camp. No cheese, milk or butter. Drink 1-to-2 gallons every day.
"I'm not a big fan of eating when I'm in camp because all healthy food is boring for me," Jackson said. "It's the same stuff over and over. I'm a very picky eater, probably the worst ever. I eat a lot of the same foods over and over, the foods that I like, because there are a lot of foods I don't like."
Jackson eats one cheat meal each week, usually on the weekend. He'll have pizza, lasagna, meatball subs, barbecue, fast food ... depending on his weight heading into a fight. For the most part, he remains true to his plan, and he never misses a day of training, never puts it off until tomorrow.
"Tomorrows add up. When you don't go hard, you pay for it at the end."
It may seem surprising, but Jackson is relatively new to the vast world of supplements. Until he joined the MusclePharm team, he didn't partake in the smorgasbord of powders, caps and drinks. Now that he's seen what they provide, he's kicking himself for waiting so long to catch that train.
"I see a big difference," Jackson said. "Throughout most of my career fighting, I didn't take any supplements. I started taking supplements seriously right before I fought Wanderle Silva in the UFC. I saw the benefits of it and since then, I've been taking supplements. I will never have another training camp without [BCAAs]."
"My sparring is hard, especially if I'm training for a championship fight," Jackson said. "After one of those sparring sessions, I have to take a recovery. If you spar like that, you might not want to come back and train for your second session. I take a recovery and 15-to-20 minutes I feel good, I'm fine. I'll come back in and train again later on that night and I'll forget I even did that sparring session.
"I didn't feel sore one day in this camp. I wish I would have had that a couple of years ago. Supplements are very important for a guy who's trying to get to the next level."