"I was always a big fan of the 'A-Team,' and I was never a big fan of the sport I fight," he said. "I'm not a sports fan. I don't even watch sports. I don't even my watch the sport that I fight in -- only when my friends fight."
Jackson has long maintained a money-first, passion-second attitude about prizefighting, but he seems more cavalier about speaking his mind now that new income opportunities have arrived. Not all athletes are particular fans of their own industries, and Jackson didn't grow up a martial artist. But isn't it still kind of a deflation for fans who figure the guys they admire are crazy about what they're doing? Isn't Chuck Liddell, who is in the top percentile of wealthy MMA fighters, so committed to his love of violence that he harassed the UFC into getting another fight?
One thing about Jackson: When it's time to hang it up, he doesn't appear to be the type to invent reasons to stay. "The A-Team" will probably do a very credible $30 million or $35 million this weekend, according to projections, and Jackson may be only a movie deal or two away from equaling his UFC paychecks. If you don't have any particular interest in the sport, getting paid to fake it seems like the better deal.