Rumors recently surfaced hinting at a potential bout between former UFC light-heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and boxing legend Roy Jones Jr.
While Jackson appears to have plans to face Roy Jones Jr. in the future, his next opponent will be met in the realm Mixed Martial Arts combat, and it is none other than Tito “The People’s Champion” Ortiz. Tonights live broadcast of Bellator 97 on Spike TV featured quite the plot twist, as the production team said “Rampage” had a big announcement to make to the world and with the camera being focused on Roy Jones Jr., who was cage side for the event, everyone expected Jackson vs. Jones Jr. to be officially announced.
Instead, Jackson informed the crowd that while he does wish to scrap with Roy Jones Jr. in the near future, his next fight would be in the Bellator cage. Rampage told the Albuquerque fans, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. There’s a lot of rumors out there; I don’t know how that one got so big. I’m down to fight Roy, I’m a big fan of his.” Jackson continued, “But this time, I’m going to give the fans what they want. My first fight in Bellator, I want it to be an MMA fight, not a boxing match, because I love MMA again. I’m fighting this guy that’s coming out right now.”
Cue the Eminem and the fog machine, standing in the entrance to the arena stood a silhouette of a familiar figure, bouncing about carrying a flag on his shoulder. If fans didn’t see the obvious, it became evident as a fired-up Ortiz emerged from the shadows and made his way to the cage. Upon being introduced, Ortiz proclaimed to the world, “I’ve fought the best of the best in the world, I’ve been fighting for a long, long time and Rampage too. We’ve trained with each other, we’ve been friends for a long time. It’s time to push the friendship aside. It’s about giving the fans what they want to see and the best fight possible and it’s going to happen here in Bellator.”
Ortiz had hinted at a potential comeback in recent weeks and many in the MMA community expected him to make the move to Bellator, even more so following Dana White’s statements on Ortiz making a comeback and how he must need money. Undoubtedly the two biggest names to sign with Bellator are set to face-off in a battle that surprisingly did not occur earlier in each fighters career. The fight is scheduled to take place on November 2nd at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach California, and will serve as the promotions first ever pay-per-view event.
Before the two men engaged in an intense stairdown for the cameras, Jackson concluded by saying, “Tito is a great showman. 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.”
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