“Rampage” Jackson was in the headlines this past weekend, after the UFC announced he’s returning to the Octagon, but it remains to be seen if a legal battle with Bellator could delay or punt those plans.
After the UFC announced Jackson’s return, Bellator President Scott Coker quickly tweeted that the fighter remains under “exclusive contract” and that the promotion will “protect our contractual rights.” Jackson, however, said he’s “terminated” his deal with the Viacom owned property.
Jackson’s initial comments may not have provided a lot of insight into his issues with Bellator, but a follow up statement from the light-heavyweight’s camp does. Recently, the following was posted at the accomplished fighter’s official site:
“After five months of grueling negotiations and gray-area contract talks with Bellator MMA and parent-company Viacom, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson officially terminates his contract with the up-and-coming promotion citing multiple breaches since the removal of President and Founder Bjorn Rebney. Jackson exercises a clause in the agreement that allows for a 45-day window to satisfy any contract dispute. Bellator MMA, failing to fulfill the requests of Jackson, was put on notice, failed to respond and eventually notified that negotiations were officially terminated.
Jackson’s U.K.-based fight manager and Wolfslair Academy founder Anthony McGann confirms, late Saturday night, that “Rampage has indeed signed with the UFC.” Details of the deal have not been made public. Jackson was available for comment late Saturday night from his Laguna Hills, CA training center Rampage Family Fitness and provided the following: “I went to the UFC and we put a deal together that worked out for both of us. I’m excited to be here. The UFC had nothing to do with me leaving Bellator. I was done with Bellator when I made the final call and they still didn’t do what they had to do contractually. I wish those guys the best but I’m where I belong.”
So, now it will be interesting to see whether Bellator sees things the same way, but the chances of that are pretty, pretty slim…At this point, it’s kind of hard to imagine Jackson returning to the Bellator fold, so perhaps some sort of settlement will go down. That said, Eddie Alvarez ended up competing for Bellator once more, after the two parties got into a legal squabble.
No information regarding Jackson’s next bout has been announced by the UFC, and that likely won’t happen, until some of the potential legal issues are cleared up.
The 36 year-old won three straight fights with Bellator, and scored stoppage wins over Christian M’Pumbu and Joey Beltran while doing so. Last May, Jackson earned a unanimous decision win over “King Mo” Lawal but the result was widely debated.
This time last year, who would have thought Jackson would be looking to fight in the Octagon again?