RAMPAGE is BACK in the UFC .. or is he?
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, former UFC Lightweight champion (35-11) is returning to the Octagon. The news was made official during UFC Fight Night 58.
Rampage is coming off three straight wins at Bellator MMA, having beaten notable fighters Joey Beltran, Christian M’Pumbu, and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal
I just want to come back and come to the big show!
“I just want to come back and come to the big show,” Jackson said on an infomercial’ish pre-recorded video clip during UFC Fight Night 58. “The thing about ‘Rampage’ is, ‘Rampage’ always comes to excite the fans. I just want to give them exciting fights.”
According to the UFC, Quinton Jackson’s re-signing came after he terminated his contract with Bellator MMA and then met with UFC Brass wrap up a new fight deal.
“It hasn’t really hit me, but it sounds like most people are happy for me to come back,”
“I feel like I can put on some exciting fights. I don’t feel like there are a whole lot of people out there putting it on the line the way I do.”
Rampage expects he’ll be back in the Octagon before end of June 2015.
Interstingly, as soon as the announcement was made, Bellator President Scott Coker responded with:
Let us be clear that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is under an exclusive contract with #BellatorMMA. We will protect our contractual rights
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) December 21, 2014
Rumors of Rampage’s return to the UFC began as early as Friday and Coker was quoted telling MMAjunkie via text message that if Jackson indeed was signing a deal with the UFC, a legal proceeding could be forthcoming.
“Sometimes you have to go to court to protect your rights!” Coker said Friday.
Jackson began his MMA fighting career in 1999, then signed with PRIDE in 2001. He quickly became one of the promotion’s biggest stars. He never wore gold, losing a 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix Final bout, as well as an October 2004 bid for the PRIDE middleweight belt, both times losing to Wanderlei Silva. Following the collapse of PRIDE, Jackson make his way to the UFC where he made a huge impact in 2007 by knocking out Chuck Liddell to claim the UFC light heavyweight title. He defended the belt against Dan Henderson, then lost it in a five-round war with Forrest Griffin. Jackson would go 4-1 in his next five fights before losses to Jon Jones, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira which then saw him leave the UFC after expiry of his contract. Jackson has been inactive since May, but recently began tweeting that he was anxious to get back into the cage. Quintin is a warrior through and through .. he recently tweeted:
I’m ready to get back in the cage again..I never thought I would say this but I miss training. http://t.co/4LxFUAWGpp
— Quinton Jackson (@Rampage4real) December 15, 2014
When asked about the UFC, Rampage said “This is where I belong”.
Three words: Welcome Back Champ!