Rampage Jackson is ready to fight again, as Bellator has announced that it has re-signed the former Pride star and UFC light heavyweight champion.
It looks like Rampage Jackson is sticking around Bellator a while longer. In a press release distributed Thursday, the MMA promotion announced that it had re-signed Quinton Jackson, better known as ‘Rampage’ following “lengthy negotiations” with the fighter’s manager, Tiki Ghosn of Arsenal Sports Agency. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although it was referred to as an exclusive, multi-fight contract.
The signing comes as a surprise to many, as it was believed Jackson was back under contract with the UFC. Following years of grumblings from the fighter, Rampage first left the UFC for Bellator in 2013, then “terminated” his Bellator contract alleging the promotion had not lived up to their deal. He would return to the UFC for a single fight in 2015, a fight that was only allowed to take place at the last minute thanks to a court injunction. The court case that ensued saw Jackson back in Bellator to complete his deal there, which came in March of this year, when Jackson lost a unanimous decision to King Mo at Bellator 175.
Following that, Jackson was expected to return to the UFC to honor the contract signed in 2015, which saw him defeat Fabio Maldonado at UFC 186. It appears, however, that the fighter became a free agent, and Bellator President Scott Coker jumped at the chance to sign one of MMA’s biggest personalities.
“I am excited for this new beginning and looking forward to an action packed 2018,” Jackson said in Thursday’s press release. “I can’t wait to get back in the cage and put on exciting fights for both the ‘Rampage’ and Bellator fans.”
Coker, meanwhile, added that “With ‘Rampage’ Jackson, you know what you’re going to get every time he steps inside the Bellator cage – an exciting fight and interest from fans all over the world.”
“I knew that keeping ‘Rampage’ with Bellator was integral to our continued growth as a promotion and I’m pleased that we were able to come to an agreement that allows us to plan some great future matchups for him” his statement concluded.
Jackson (37–12) is one of the last remaining legends of his era. In Pride, he was runner-up in the Japanese promotion’s 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix. Known for wars with Shogun Rua, Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell, and of course Wanderlei Silva, Rampage captured the UFC light heavyweight championship in 2007 at UFC 71, defeating Liddell for the second time. He’d defend the belt successfully against Dan Henderson before losing the title to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86. Later in his UFC run, he would again challenge for gold against Jon Jones at UFC 135.
Rampage is 5-1 in his last six bouts, dating back to 2013.
No return date has been set for Jackson, thought the promotion noted his return was expected early in 2018.