“Rampage” Jackson made it clear that he regretted moving to Bellator a little while back, and now that his UFC return’s been announced, more details regarding his split with the promotion have come to light.
Over the weekend, Jackson said that he’s “terminated” his contract with Bellator, since apparently it “wasn’t right”. Bellator President Scott Coker, however, was quick to say that the former UFC champ is still under “exclusive contract” with the Viacom promotion.
So, as we wait to see what, if anything unfolds in terms of a legal battle, Jackson’s camp has released the following statement at the fighter’s official site.
“After five months of grueling negotiations and gray-area contract talks with Bellator MMA and parent-company Viacom, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson officially terminates his contract with the up-and-coming promotion citing multiple breaches since the removal of President and Founder Bjorn Rebney. Jackson exercises a clause in the agreement that allows for a 45-day window to satisfy any contract dispute. Bellator MMA, failing to fulfill the requests of Jackson, was put on notice, failed to respond and eventually notified that negotiations were officially terminated.
Jackson’s U.K.-based fight manager and Wolfslair Academy founder Anthony McGann confirms, late Saturday night, that “Rampage has indeed signed with the UFC.” Details of the deal have not been made public. Jackson was available for comment late Saturday night from his Laguna Hills, CA training center Rampage Family Fitness and provided the following: “I went to the UFC and we put a deal together that worked out for both of us. I’m excited to be here. The UFC had nothing to do with me leaving Bellator. I was done with Bellator when I made the final call and they still didn’t do what they had to do contractually. I wish those guys the best but I’m where I belong.”
Is this last we’ll hear of this? In terms of whether Jackson is in fact free to head back to the Octagon? Probably not. In fact, until this all gets figured out, the light-heavyweight’s next bout likely won’t get announced. Of course, there’s a chance all the parties involved will come to some sort of agreement, or that maybe there’s nothing to spar over here, contractually speaking, but that seems kind of unlikely.
Contract spats aside, clearly the UFC is looking to bolster its drawing power and pay-per-view sales by bringing Jackson back into the fold. The 36 year-old fighter closed out his UFC run with three straight losses, and appeared to have left his contending days behind him.
Since then, however, Jackson has gone on to win three in a row with Bellator, and the light-heavyweight says he’s back to his old self, thanks to undergoing knee surgery. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.