Quinton Jackson and Muhammed Lawal aren't finished talking quite yet. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Despite trying to knock each other senseless for 15 minutes on Saturday night, Quinton Jackson and Muhammed Lawal may still have unfinished business.
Jackson edged Lawal in a controversial unanimous decision in the main event of Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view, taking scores of 29-28 across the board to win the Season 10 light heavyweight tournament at Landers Center in Southaven, Miss.
Following the official announcement, Lawal vocally expressed his displeasure with the verdict. Jackson immediately proposed a rematch, a suggestion he was still fully behind at the post-fight press conference.
“I’m down for a rematch. I wanted to knock him out, but this was the best Mo I’ve seen in a long time,” said Jackson. “You wanted to wrestle. You wanted to hump. Look at your face. I think the last round was really close, but look at your face. You didn’t beat nothing.”
After Lawal controlled the opening period with his wrestling, Jackson went to work with his fists in round two, bludgeoning the former Strikeforce champion with several clean blows that caused his left eye to swell significantly.
Lawal scored another takedown in the third period, putting Jackson on his back and controlling him, though he inflicted little damage from top position. “Rampage” worked his way back to his feet, but he, too, was unable to land cleanly with the boxing that had clearly won him the second stanza. In the end, however, the three cage-side judges sided with Jackson, awarding him both the final round and the fight.
Jackson now finds himself next in line for a shot at Emanuel Newton’s light heavyweight championship, though the former UFC champion is still unsure about fighting his teammate and training partner -- a factor that could potentially lead to a Jackson-Lawal rematch down the road.
“Emmanuel and I share the same coach, the great Antonio McKee,” said Jackson. “We train together sometimes. I don’t know how that’s going to work. We’re kind of like a family. I don’t know how that’s going to affect our gym. It’s hard to explain. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”