After losing three straight bouts to finish his Octagon career, former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has found a career resurgence of sorts in rival promotion Bellator, knocking out Joey Beltran and Christian M’Pumbu in his first two appearances inside their cage.
His win over former Bellator champion M’ Pumbu earned him a shot at hated “rival” Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in the Season 10 light heavyweight tourney finals, which will take place at Bellator 120, the promotion’s inaugural pay-per-view (PPV) event, which will take place this Saturday night (May 17, 2014) from the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.
Many believe that the “Rampage” vs. “King Mo” beef has been a forced one created to sell PPV buys. It’s tough to argue with fans’ sentiment on that one, as the two appeared on TNA wrestling together, and had a chest-puffing fracas after “Rampage” knocked out M’Pumbu.
What’s more, the bout has now been moved into Bellator 120’s headlining slot after Eddie Alvarez went down with a concussion last week, forcing archenemy Michael Chandler to battle Will Brooks for the interim strap.
That left most fans seriously questioning whether or not the Bellator PPV was worth the price. Not surprisingly, “Rampage” told Sherdog.com that his fight with Lawal will be worth the price of admission alone:
“My fight alone is going to be worth the pay-per-view. This is one of the few grudge matches going on right now in MMA where [the fighters] honestly don’t like each other. I’m going to put on an exciting fight, and I’m going to be coming at him the second the bell rings.
I’m going to show Memphis that I’m the baddest fighter out of Memphis. I want the world to know. I’m going to be on him like white on rice, and that’s something that you haven’t seen me do in a long time. I’m going to dictate this whole pace. I have a statement to make, and I think that’s worth it, right there.”
That’s a bold claim from a man who’s made a career out of making them. The winner will earn a shot at light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton’s belt in the near future, but that dynamic could also present a problem for Bellator.
Newton has beat “King Mo” twice recently. A third match-up would seem a bit forced, so the promotion is probably hoping that “Rampage” can hand the former Strikeforce champ his next loss.
Either way, fans will be forced to shell out $34.99 to watch a card that lost by far its most relevant fight. While “Rampage” is always entertaining, he’s no longer the must-see draw he once was. Will you be tuning in just to see him starch “King Mo?”