If you’ve been following “Rampage” Jackson lately, then you know he wasn’t happy with Bellator, and now, lo and behold, the light-heavyweight’s back with the UFC…Or is he?
If you missed it, not long after the UFC announced Jackson’s return, Bellator boss man Scott Coker tweeted that the fighter remains under “exclusive contract” with the promotion, and further, that they will “protect our contractual rights.” So, it looks like the UFC legal team could be working double time in the coming months, considering the class action lawsuit that was announced last week (which accuses the UFC of breaking antitrust laws).
The way Jackson and his team look at it, however, the fighter didn’t have a Bellator contract anymore, since he apparently “terminated” it. The 36 year-old Jackson told FOX Sports:
“The contract with Bellator wasn’t right. My manager and I tried to fix it. Bellator didn’t want to fix it. They had 45 days, and I terminated the contract.”
How about that? Clearly Bellator doesn’t exactly see things the same way. Now, legal battle aside, one year ago, not too many people would have predicted that Jackson would be returning to the UFC. When his contract ran out, the former champ was harshly critical of the ZUFFA property, and seemed extremely happy about his new deal with Bellator.
More recently, however, Jackson admitted he’s changed his mind, and in a new report from UFC.com he stated:
“I went out in the world and I looked at the other side and said ‘man, the grass looks greener over there across the street.’ So I ran across the street and looked at the grass and it got ran over by the lawnmower. (Laughs) Sometimes you think the grass is greener and you’ve got to take that chance. I never would have known if I hadn’t gone out there.”
Jackson also repeated in the story that he’s a rejuvenated fighter, thanks to having knee surgery, and that his love for fighting has returned. The feared slugger took out Joey Beltran and Christian M’Pumbu with Bellator, and then earned a controversial decision win over “King Mo” Lawal in May,
The UFC has yet to announce when Jackson will make his return. Chances are that will all depend on how things shake out on the legal side of things. If this sticks, it’s a big loss for Bellator, as Jackson’s one of the sport’s bigger names.