Several women's rights groups are demanding a UFC star be removed from this weekend's card at the United Center over an online video that makes light of sexual assault.
"This is outrageous," said "Between Friends" Executive Director Kathy Doherty. "It doesn't seem to make sense to think that violence against women, or violence against anybody, is humorous."
In one video, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is seen hiding in a garage. In cutaways, he explains the best ways to attack an unsuspecting woman. In another video, he seemingly gropes a UFC reporter.
He insists all the videos were done in good fun.
Jackson didn't appear at a UFC fan event at the Chicago Theater on Friday, and officials wouldn't produce him. But the organization's CEO insists the campaign to oust Jackson is not as it appears.
Lawrence Epstein alleges the culinary union in Las Vegas is behind the challenge to UFC's owners over a decades-long effort to organize a casino in which they also own. In essence, Epstein said the women's groups in Chicago have been duped into taking part.
"This is just another manifestation of the corporate campaign that they are trying to push," he said.
Epstein pointed out that he doesn't find the videos amusing.
"I've viewed all those videos and I think that he has, frankly, a very underdeveloped sense of humor," he said. "I think he thought he was being funny in making some of those comments and I don't personally, in my view, think any of the stuff was funny."
That seems to be one area where both sides seem to agree.
"A simulated rape? Ongoing sexual harassment of reports? What's funny about that?" questioned Doherty.
Jackson is not exactly on good terms with UFC management. Epstein noted Friday that the organization has not renewed its contract with Jackson. That, said Epstein, should speak volumes.