Who can say what kind of motivation Quinton Jackson still has for fighting? In signing a contract to meet Rashad Evans at UFC 114 on May 29, we only know he’s willing to fill the obligations of his contract.
Jackson evaporated after defeating Keith Jardine in March 2009, consumed with filming the UFC’s reality series and mounting a film career. After dust-ups with UFC management, he appears to have only fleeting interest in continuing to compete, in some statements going so far as to consider himself retired. (This, like most fighter pronouncements, shouldn’t have been taken too seriously.)
Jackson is in a weird holding pattern: the B.A. Baracus role in summer’s ““The A-Team”” film represents the highest profile of any acting job for an MMA fighter, but it could be that Jackson’s range is limited to a Mr. T impersonation. Fighters are often pursued by studios because of their name recognition and cache as being a “real tough guy,” but those offers can disrupt their competitive primes. (See: Cung Le taking nearly two years off.) If Jackson chooses to straddle the fence, taking fights between film roles, his attention to either might wane. If he can make it work, he would be the rare action star to co-exist as both a film presence and a sports figure. The trick, apparently, is to never insist on playing yourself. (See: Muhammad Ali, Jack Dempsey.)