All week, talks of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and legendary boxer Roy Jones Jr. stepping into the ring together began to pick up steam. It seemed like only a matter of time before Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney made the bout official.
That all changed Wednesday afternoon when Rampage — during an interview on Bellator’s telecast — revealed he would be facing UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz in his first bout since departing the UFC.
“Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet,” Jackson said. “There’s a lot of rumors out there, I don’t know how that one got so big.”
Rampage made waves back in January when he voiced his displeasure with his treatment from the UFC whenever he was given the chance. So when both parties decided against negotiating a new contract following Jackson’s loss to Glover Teixeira back at UFC on Fox 5, no one was all that surprised.
Jackson returned to the spotlight when he announced he had signed a new multi-year deal with rival promotion Bellator MMA back in June.
“Man, I’m happy to be back here on Spike TV,” Jackson said. “I’m training hard, man. I’m back motivated. I found my love for MMA again. Now I’m with a reputable company that knows how to treat their fighters. It’s on.”
Both Ortiz and Jackson have maintained a close relationship over the years, but all that will have to be shelved on November 2 when the two meet up at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.
“Man, [Ortiz] is a great showman,” Jackson said. “I’ve seen this guy work. I’ve seen him train. I know it’s going to be one of the best fights in history.”