Quinton Jackson has one fight remaining on his current Bellator MMA contract, and he plans on making it a memorable one.
“Rampage” will rematch Muhammed Lawal in the Bellator 175 headliner at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., on March 31. Their first meeting occurred during the California-based promotion’s lone pay-per-view venture in May 2014, with Jackson winning a contentious unanimous decision. While motivation might seem to be lacking for the former UFC champ against an opponent he’s already defeated, Jackson insists that is not the case.
“Am I excited about King Mo? Let me put it like this,” Jackson recently told Sherdog.com. “Any asshole that I beat, swelled his eye up, had to get my leg pregnant by him and then he goes around telling everybody that he won the fight...you’re damn right I’m excited about getting ready to knock this motherf—-er out again. This motherf—-er full of shit.”
While Jackson won on the judges’ scorecards at Bellator 120, 11 of the 13 unofficial media scorecards tracked by MMADecisions.com that night had the light heavyweight fight in favor of Lawal. The Strikeforce veteran landed multiple takedowns in the first round, but “Rampage” began to land with power in the second frame — and the damage showed in the form of swelling and a cut to Lawal’s left eye. The third round was a tossup, with Lawal relying on his wrestling and Jackson on his hands.
Jackson expects Lawal to adopt a similar approach in their rematch.
“Yeah, ‘King Mo’s’ still gonna try to wrestle me, but I’m still gonna try to break my foot in his asshole,” Jackson said. “I’m gonna try to break my foot in his ass, try to break my fist in his mouth.”
However, while their first meeting took place at 205 pounds, the Bellator 175 main even will be contested at heavyweight. Lawal has had some success in the big man’s division, posting victories over Cheick Kongo and Satoshi Ishii under the Bellator banner.
Jackson, who also owns a victory over Ishii, is not impressed with his opponent’s exploits at heavyweight. That is in large part because Lawal utitlized a wrestling-based approach to dispatch both Kongo and Ishii.
“I didn’t see the fight with Ishii and honestly I didn’t want to watch the fight with Kongo but I had to because I knew what he was going to do,” Jackson said. “Did he beat Kongo up, or did he outpoint Kongo?
“You can be impressed with fighters fighting that way and ruining our sport by taking fight against great strikers and just laying on them, holding them up against the cage. That’s not a fight. That’s like a stopping an exciting fighter from performing, putting them in there with a wrestler who’s just going to hold you down and hold you against the cage. That’s not a fight. Not a lot of people want to see that. That’s the American way of thinking about the sport. That’s why I miss Japan so much. People in Japan would have been like, ‘Man there’s no honor.’ You’ve got to have honor in a fight. If you must fight, fight with honor. There’s no honor in that.”
Jackson got his start in Japan with the now-defunct Pride Fighting Championships organization, and he still clearly carries fond memories of fighting in the Far East. Whether his MMA future holds another trip to Japan — perhaps with Rizin — remains to be seen. After “Rampage” fights at Bellator 175, he still has contractual obligations to fulfill with the UFC stemming from the bizarre situation that occurred when he claimed he terminated his Bellator contract and returned to the Octagon to fight at UFC 186.
“There’s a lot going on right there. Everything’s kind of up in the air,” Jackson said. “I’m still obligated to fulfill my UFC contract. I’m the only fighter currently that has contract with both UFC and Bellator. It’s a brand new thing, but I have obligations and I’m obligated to fulfill my obligations.”