Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rampage, Reborn

David Samuels has a piece in the new Atlantic about Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, a star of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I'm only about halfway through it. Best part so far:
Jackson is glad to tell the story of how he was born again. During a two-week partying binge that followed a victory over the Brazilian fighter Ricardo Arona . . . Jackson woke up one night in the middle of a terrifying dream. The devil had his hands on his chest and was preparing to remove his soul. “He had some female spirits around him and he was saying ‘It’s okay,’” Jackson says, his eyes widening at the memory. “Then I heard this strong voice say, ‘Do you know this man?’ And I was like, ‘No.’ He said, ‘It’s not okay.’ And I woke up and grabbed my chest and made a noise that I’d never made before in my life.”

The fighter woke up gasping for air, and spent the next few weeks feeling increasingly frightened and alienated. Some time later, Jackson suffered another moment of chest-gripping terror that was triggered by a radio ad for a Universal Studios theme-park attraction after he had dropped his son D’Angelo off at preschool. “The first thing it said was ‘The curse of’ something—I can’t remember,” Jackson recalls. “And it says, ‘Your soul is mine.’” The voice weirdly echoed Jackson’s dream, and left the fighter feeling even more freaked out. “Later on, when I turned the radio back on, when I got used to being a Christian,” he remembers, “I said, ‘Oh, that’s a damn commercial for the Revenge of the Mummy ride.’”

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