Founder of the Rogue Empire; Former Street Fighter, Now Community Leader
My name is Eugene Jackson. I used to fight in the UFC and Strike Force, a few of my fighters are Bellatore fighters. I created a company called Rogue Empire. We bring scattered pieces into one place - showing people that difference in opinions doesn’t make you weaker, but makes you stronger if you unite as a team.
"When I was young, I was educated, young, won science fairs. But because there was no father in the home - I grew up in EPA, low-income - I started following things the city gave me. Gangs... I joined gangs. I was a knucklehead, I became part of. When I got found later in life, I started coming back. There was a bright light was in me, but got covered and someone had to pull me out of it. So now, coming back home was showing these kids…if I can do it, so can you."
"Most of the time in inner cities, you have people fall off beaten path, go rogue from regular life. My job is to bring everybody back, to help them find their strengths. A drug dealer, that’s all he learns to do - but he doesn’t realize he’s becoming salesman. We can bring him into a car lot and now he can sell cars. You don't have to be stuck on life you were born with. We can take your talents and move them into regular working world."
"Almost everything I do is for free - help at juvie, teach martial arts, for free. I will be here 8:30 in morning and 8:30 at night. That’s because I’d rather see people succeed, make it. If there is a God, if I count all the wrong I did - I would have engulfed that with good. So that it’s not even a pinhead to what I’ve done with good."
"When Obama got elected, blacks in deep south saw it for the first time. Somebody I could relate to, who went through my struggles is there. That’s a powerful stance. I want to see this kid whose brother's been killed, daddy’s on drug - I want to see him become successful. It’s not supposed to happen. That’s what I want to see, that’s beauty. That’s you sitting here, going wow. Everything can be fixed - and it’s true, everything can. Just matters are we putting enough time into it."
To hear more reflections from Eugene, check out his short video series HERE.