“Rampage” Jackson will make his Bellator debut tonight in Atlantic City, and many people throughout the MMA world will be watching, to see how the former UFC champ looks versus Joey Beltran. Not only because Jackson is an established star and one of Bellator’s biggest names, but because the 35 year-old fighter has lost three straight fights.
Even before Jackson’s bout with Tito Ortiz was cancelled, due to the latter injuring his neck, the outspoken fighter said he was feeling great. The reason being that Jackson recently underwent a restorative procedure for his ailing knees, which he said hindered his performances in recent years. In fact, while speaking to MMA Fighting.com recently about his bout tonight with Beltran, “Rampage” says he hasn’t felt this good since he was making waves in PRIDE.
“It actually really depressed me,” Jackson said while discussing the issues he had with his knees. “It’s part of the reason why I haven’t been doing well. I used stay in the gym after my fights, but I stopped doing it because of how much pain I was in. You have to be mentally strong and confident. (Now) I’m not depressed anymore.”
“I notice a big improvement. My knees actually feel like they did in my Pride days.”
There’s no question Jackson scored some big wins fighting overseas, and it’s crazy to think that was around ten years ago already…Of course, “Rampage” also recorded some massive wins when he first arrived in the UFC (see his UFC 71 fight with Chuck Liddell), but he’s certainly looked slower and less explosive in the last couple of years. Chances are Beltran’s going to come right after him, so it will be interesting to see how Jackson reacts.