After insisting that he would “never fight in the UFC again,” Rampage Jackson has found a new home with Bellator, and will be headlining the promotion’s first-ever Pay-Per-View event.
Jackson announced the match during Bellator’s broadcast Wednesday.
“My first fight in Bellator I want it to be a MMA fight, not a boxing match. Cause I love MMA again,” Jackson stated, addressing a rumor that he would make his boxing debut against Roy Jones Jr. Jackson expressed displeasure with the UFC earlier this year.
“I didn’t retire from MMA. But as of now … I’ve left the UFC,” the 35-year-old said. “The UFC didn’t treat me right. I don’t like the way I was treated there.”
Jackson’s most recent loss was to Glover Teixeira at UFC on Fox 6 on January 26. He also failed to win the light heavyweight championship from Jon Jones at UFC 135 on September 24, 2011.
Following his announcement during the Bellator broadcast, Jackson said that his next opponent would be making his way to the cage. The Eminem song “Mosh” began playing, and out stepped UFC Hall of Famer and former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz.
The 38-year-old hinted at a return to MMA earlier this month, almost a year after he announced his retirement. Ortiz tweeted, “Come backs are always the best test! Live life to the fullest.” He also mentioned Viacom, the owner of Bellator, in a different tweet, in which he said, “Fighting is starting to sound fun again.”
Ortiz said of his fight against Jackson, “We’ve trained with each other, we’ve been friends for a long time, but it’s time to put the friendship aside. It’s about giving the fans what they want to see and the best fight possible’s going to happen here in Bellator.”
Jackson vs. Ortiz will take place November 2 on Pay-Per-View.
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