Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has recently found a career resurgence of sorts in Bellator MMA, going 2-0 with two knockouts since making his promotional debut last November.
“Rampage” was last in action at February 28’s Bellator 110, finishing former Bellator light heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu in the first to advance on to the Season 10 Tournament Semifinals. There, he’ll face off with former Strikeforce 205-pound boss Muhammed Lawal, with whom “Rampage” had a much-publicized scuffle after his win over M’Pumbu.
Headed into his co-main event with “King Mo” at the promotion’s inaugural pay-per-view (PPV) at Bellator 120 this May, Jackson told MMA Fighting he actually has doesn’t actually hate Lawal and that the seemingly forced conflict was simply a product of post-fight adrenaline:
"After I knocked out Christian Oomdooboo [sic], I was still hyped up, because he said he was going to end my career. Listen, people don't understand I don't hate Mo. I don't know whether Mo hates me or stuff like that. We had beef back in the day and our argument, our scuffle had nothing to do with our beef."
"I'll just say, it was my time to shine, I was excited after the fight, and I had no idea he was going to be in the cage. If you go back and watch it, I was looking even before Mo was there that I'm the man of Bellator. He said he what he had to say, I said what he had to say, but I'm still hyped up. I'm in the cage, I have my gloves on, I'm a fighter. I kind of went at him. Anyone who I was going to fight, if he came to the cage, I would have done the same thing."
Well, it’s good that we have that mess all cleared up. Regardless, Jackson and Lawal will throw down for a shot at newly crowned champion Emanuel Newton’s belt. Lawal already lost to Newton twice before at Bellator 90 and then at Bellator 106 last November, so you can bet that the promotion is banking on (or at least hoping for) a “Rampage” win so they can continue to promote their polarizing superstar.
And they should, because he’s one of the few big name draws they currently have on their roster.
“Rampage” looks to be rejuvenated after getting past the injury woes that plagued him during his lackluster run towards the end of his UFC career. Will that translate into Jackson hoisting championship gold in Bellator?