Looks like Bellator has landed another big fish for its pond. After the promotion’s CEO, Bjorn Rebney, made public his intent on seeking the services of another ex-UFC star, it appears as if a deal has been reached. The always colorful, and often exciting, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has agreed to terms with the California-based promotion.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion, who has continually made known his disdain for the UFC’s handling of its fighters and the pay structure, agreed to terms with the widely-regarded number two promotion in the world. First reported by MMA Fighting, the decision comes after Jackson’s initial intentions to stray from the sport that made him famous in pursuit of a boxing career was put on hold.

After many publicized contractual issues between Bellator and its fighters, the news of a deal between the two comes as a bit of a shock. The organization has received a substantial amount of criticism for its business practices and its particular use of what many believe to be odd negotiating tactics. Most notably, the company has been engaging in a nasty legal struggle with its former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and where the use of his services will next be granted. Around the same time, another of its former champions, Zach Makovsky, also made public his contractual issues with Rebny and his company after Makovsky was misled into what he believed to be a “bait and switch” move by Bellator.

Jackson, meanwhile, has been equally critical of his own former employer, the UFC. After gaining major fame for his success in Japan under the Pride FC banner, he was obtained by the Zuffa-owned organization during the buyout of Pride, where he competed 12 times. Victorious in seven of those fights, he also captured the 205-pound title in a much talked about war with Dan Henderson. During his 12-fight Octagon run, he was very vocal about his dissatisfaction with the compensation he received until it reached its breaking point after the end of his contract, as he vowed to never fight for the UFC ever again.

In agreeing on terms with one another, both will have teamed in a partnership that could make a major impact and bring serious publicity to both sides. As evidenced with its signing of “King Mo” Lawal (the company also agreed to lend the services of “King Mo” to professional wrestling organization TNA Impact Wrestling) as well as amateur wrestling standout Bubba Jenkins and former UFC lightweight Paul Sass, Bellator is looking to make moves. In Jackson, they receive an already established product and gifted entertainer. In return, it’s rumored that “Rampage” will be given a similar deal to the one Lawal received that will possibly include potential TNA appearances.

No word yet on exact details of the contract but stay tuned as information is expected to soon be revealed.


Photo by David Banks – USA TODAY Sports