At last night’s UFC Fight Night broadcast, a surprise announcement was made that raised a few eyebrows.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, the promotion’s former light heavyweight champion, was said to be back in the UFC after an absence of almost two years. The Mississippi native had been plying his trade for Bellator MMA, earning three straight victories — but also butting heads with management. He also briefly flirted with a career in pro wrestling.
But last night, Jackson (seen above in his victory back in May over Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal at Bellator 120) said in a brief statement, “I’m back where I belong.”
He described issues that had come up with Bellator and had even hinted at a move back to the UFC last week on his Twitter account as well.
But is he really back? And, is it where he belongs?
For his part, Bellator MMA Scott Coker responded via Twitter:
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
Further, what match-ups make sense for Jackson in the UFC? It would seem the new-look Bellator, with its theatrics, would be a good fit for him. The promotion tried to pair Tito Ortiz against Jackson in the past, and now both are enjoying career resurgences there.
Why not stay at Bellator and headline against Ortiz, rather than potentially get lost in the shuffle in the UFC? Does anyone see a 36 year old Jackson making a serious challenge for a UFC title?
It’s a strange turn of events which seems to inspire more questions than answers, and ultimately, for this fan at least, more confusion than excitement.