'Rampage' Jackson re-signs with UFC
MANILA, Philippines – After winning three bouts under the Bellator MMA banner, former light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is returning to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The world’s premier mixed martial arts organization announced that Jackson has inked an exclusive deal to return to the Octagon in 2015 during the broadcast of UFC Fight Night 58 on Sunday, December 21 (PH Time).
“I just want to come back and come to the big show. The thing about ‘Rampage’ is, ‘Rampage’ always comes to excite the fans. I just want to give them exciting fights,” Jackson said on a pre-taped piece.
After boasting an impressive résumé in the now-defunct PRIDE promotion, Jackson (35-11) made a triumphant UFC debut in February 2007 when he knocked out Marvin Eastman in the second round.
The 6-foot-1 native of Memphis, Tennessee received a shot at the light heavyweight belt three months after his demolition of Eastman at UFC 71, where he thwarted then-titleholder Chuck Liddell via first-round technical knockout.
Jackson successfully defended the 205-pound division’s top prize against Dan Henderson by unanimous decision at UFC 75 in September 2007, but he lost the gold-plated strap to Forrest Griffin by way of five-round verdict at UFC 86 in July 2008.
“Rampage” won 4 of his next 5 outings after dropping the title to Griffin, defeating the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Keith Jardine, Lyoto Machida and Matt Hamill.
Jackson parted ways with the UFC last year following three-straight setbacks to current light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira.
The 36-year-old fighter then made a pact with Bellator MMA and was slated to face Tito Ortiz in his first promotional appearance, but Ortiz had to pull out due to an injury.
As a result of the unfortunate incident, he was paired with Joey Beltran at Bellator 108 in November 2013, winning via first-round stoppage.
Since then, Jackson was on a roll, thumping Christian M’Pumbu by knockout in round one at Bellator 110 in February before outpointing Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal via split decision at Bellator 120 this past May.
Before it was publicly confirmed by the Las Vegas-based company today, news regarding Jackson’s UFC comeback started to swirl last week.
According to a press release on UFC.com, the re-signing comes after Jackson terminated his contract with his previous promoter and met with UFC officials to finalize a new deal.
However, Scott Coker clearly defined Bellator’s stance and stressed that Jackson is still under agreement with the organization.
At the time when Jackson joined Bellator, the company was headed by Bjorn Rebney, but he left the promotion in June and then was replaced by Coker. – Rappler.com