Last night’s UFC Fight Night 58 broadcast included an extra, eye brow raising moment, as the promotion announced that “Rampage” Jackson is returning to the ZUFFA fold. Yes, the very same Jackson, who not long ago, couldn’t wait to move on from the UFC.
Of couse, the news is big not only because of Jackson’s change of heart, but because everyone believed he was still under contract with Bellator. The Viacom property signed Jackson last year, and since then, Mr. Jackson has gone on to win three straight.
Well, not long after the UFC’s announcement, Bellator President Scott Coker tweeted the following:
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
The response isn’t surprising, as although Jackson had hinted he regretted leaving the UFC recently, no one expected Bellator to just let him walk. Now, that said, according to Jackson, he has “terminated” his Bellator contract.
In a press release from FOX Sports, Jackson was quoted saying about his Bellator deal:
“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.”
Now, chances are Bellator’s lawyers are going to disagree, and the UFC’s lawmen, well, they’re going to do their best to prove Jackson right. The timing off all this is particularly interesting, since it comes not long after the UFC was accused of breaking anti-trust laws in a class action law suit.
The 36 year-old Jackson scored stoppage wins over Joey Beltran and Christian M’Pumbu during his Bellator run, and also decisioned “King Mo” Lawal (according to the judges…). The UFC hasn’t made any announcements as to when the former light-heavyweight champ will fight next.