Quinton “Rampage” Jackson won’t have too long of a wait in making his Bellator debut. The former UFC light heavyweight champion had been scheduled to battle Tito Ortiz in the organization’s first-ever PPV event, but those plans went awry when Ortiz suffered a serious neck injury.
Now, a replacement has been found, and it is a fighter who also has a UFC pedigree. Jackson will now make his debut against Joey Beltran at Bellator 108 on November 15 in Atlantic City.
At this stage of his career, Jackson certainly isn’t the destructive force who knocked out Chuck Liddell back at UFC 71 to win the light heavyweight title. However, he remains a high-profile name thanks to his exploits in the UFC and Pride organizations. That was something Bellator had been banking on in promoting Jackson vs. Ortiz in what ended up being an ill-fated PPV attempt.
Jackson’s often combative relationship with the UFC ended on a three-fight losing streak. His last fight was a three-round decision loss to top 205-pound contender Glover Teixeira.
As for Beltran, he’s also struggled mightily of late to post victories. “The Mexicutioner” has just two wins in his last nine fights and was released by the UFC after his split-decision loss against Fabio Maldonado. Beltran has a history of standing and trading with opponents, which is why he was quick to find employment with Bellator upon his release.
He does have 11 knockouts in his 14 career victories. Beltran is just thankful for the new career opportunity and believes the fight against Jackson can be his Rocky Balboa moment. Beltran actually had a fight under the Bellator banner back in 2009, recording a TKO victory at Bellator 5.
Rampage is just happy to get a fight after training for the Ortiz bout, only have that fall through. While he’s certainly not the intimidating performer he was at the height of his career, Jackson still packs a punch. 14 of his 32 career victories have been by knockout. Beltran has never been one to shy away from a slugfest, so whatever this matchup may lack in technique, it could make up for in entertainment value.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports