When it was announced last week that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was without an opponent for Bellator 106 after Tito Ortiz’ neck problems forced him to withdraw from the bout, the promotion quickly turned the event from its first pay-per-view to a Spike-aired card.
Rampage was disappointed, only wanting to show the world that he was back after a procedure on his hobbled knees had restored him to fighting like a true mixed martial artist.
Thankfully for Rampage, longtime UFC participant Joey Beltran was cut following his uninspired loss to Fabio Maldonado at UFC Fight Night 29. That left “The Mexicutioner” open to field offers, and Bellator quickly came calling.
The two sluggers will face off at Bellator 108, which takes place on November 18 at Ovation Hall inside the Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
It’s a quick replacement for Rampage, who is arguably the promotion’s biggest star – at least by name. There are a few fighters on the Bellator roster that could be deemed as much more relevant to MMA right now. One of those names is Bellator middleweight champion Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko, who was slated to face off against Doug Marshall in Bellator’s 108 main event. That fight will now take place in the co-main event.
Rampage has cried out in recent years for wrestlers trying to “hump” him when they weren’t willing to stand in front of him and trade power shots. It appears that Bellator has found one of the few fighters who will do just that. Beltran is known for his heavy hands and iron chin, but he hasn’t fared all that well as of late.
Still, “The Mexicutioner” may have more to offer at this point than an injured Ortiz could have. Regardless of the actual relevancy of this bout, it should at least be exciting for the fans.
We’ll see if Rampage has returned to being the complete mixed martial artist he claims to be.