On November 15th Quinton “Rampage” Jackson looked back to old form in his TKO win over Joey “the Mexicutioner” Beltran in a 210 pound catchweight fight at Bellator 108. The former UFC light-heavyweight champion was originally scheduled to face-off with Tito Ortiz on November 2nd, but Ortiz was forced to pull out due to a neck injury, forcing Rampage to postpone his Bellator MMA debut.
Rampage looked extremely confident on Friday, stalking down and brutalizing Beltran with some solid punches. Rampage spent a good portion of the fight pinned against the cage by Beltran who really tried to pressure Rampage in this fight. Impressively, Rampage was rather undeterred and maintained his composure, swinging hard with a left hook against Beltran, and following up with some ground-and-pound until he forced the finish at 4:59 of the first round. Rampage seemed to have lost a lot of his confidence in his last 3 fights in the UFC, and fought rather timidly in his fights against Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira and Ryan Bader so his performance Friday was extremely refreshing.
So what’s next for Rampage? It’s assumed that Rampage will be a participant in the upcoming Bellator light-heavyweight tournament. The details surrounding the upcoming tournament have yet to be announced, but it’s likely to include such fighters as Emanuel Newton, Mikhail Zayats and Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal. Rampage did not seem to receive a lot of damage, so perhaps he may choose to take care of some unfinished business and square up with Tito Ortiz. Regardless of what Rampage chooses to do next, he will still prove to be a dangerous fighter, and I’m excited to see him in action again in Bellator.