Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Scott Coker Discusses Rampage Jackson’s Bellator 175 Performance, Uncertain Future

Bellator 175 wasn’t exactly the heavyweight coming out party Quinton “Rampage” Jackson hoped for. Jackson (37–12) has flirted with the weight class in the past, but coming in at 253lbs, seemed fully committed to fighting above light heavyweight. However, while he showed he still has power (particularly in the second round) and even opted to utilize his wrestling and shoot in for a take down late in the fight, rival King Mo still picked up the victory.

The loss puts the 38 year old Jackson in a sort of promotional limbo as well, something Bellator CEO Scott Coker commented on at the post fight press conference Friday – but not before noting that Jackson was still a dangerous fighter.

The guy’s still dangerous. I dunno if you guys saw what I saw, but the guy’s still dangerous, if he hits you, it’s going to hurt. I thought he hurt King Mo in the second round.

It’s Jackson’s contract situation, however, that is the real subject of conversation. Rampage’s second fight against Mo represented the final fight of his current Bellator contract, and due to an attempt to return to the UFC after claiming Bellator breached his previous deal, he has a contract already in place with the UFC. In fact, Jackson’s contract with Bellator was a two-fight deal agreed to following a year long lawsuit between the promotion and fighter. Now, at its end, Jackson can return to the UFC — should they wish to welcome him back.

In an era where stars seem to be flocking to other promotions, the WME-IMG owned promotion might just welcome him with open arms — but that remains to be seen.

Said Coker of Rampage’s status,

That’s the confusing part of this relationship. I know this is our last fight with Rampage Jackson, I currently don’t even know what his status is over there [UFC]. I’ve heard rumors that he has FOUR fights left over there.

“So I think he’s got to go finish his obligations, and then I don’t know if he’s a free agent after that or what his situation is. But at the end of the day he guy is a legend – he’s done so much. I followed him back in the Pride days, before that, in the King of the Cage days when he used to fight for King of the Cage. I’m happy to have him fight for us. You guys saw what happened today, three years ago, when he fought Ishii. He’s definitely in the fourth quarter of his career, but the people love him. The fans love him. I thought he put on a hell of a fight tonight.

The question is now whether Jackson is committed to carrying on at heavyweight – and whether he’ll be fighting back in the UFC, Bellator, or elsewhere.

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