Quinton Jackson and "King Mo" Lawal had sparred verbally for several weeks and their war of words finally turned into an actual fight, as the two men headlined the inaugural Bellator PPV in Southaven, Mississippi. The winner of this LHW tournament final was guaranteed a title shot against current champion Emanuel Newton.
Lawal took Rampage down literally 2 seconds in and did so with relative ease off the single-leg. He passed Rampage's guard but Rampage was able to get back to his feet, albeit briefly, as Jackson was taken down against the cage. Mo threw some knees against the thighs of Rampage as he tried to climb back up. Lawal changed levels and took Rampage down once more, much to the disapproval of the pro-Rampage crowd. However, Mo could not do anything damaging or keep Rampage grounded for a sustained period of time. Rampage eventually found the spacing he needed to get his strikes in, and was able to land a few left hook and a right hand to close out the round.
Rampage poured the pressure on in the 2nd (but not before a low kick clipped his cup). Lawal was getting cracked by Rampage's boxing and he was cut over the left eye. The takedowns were failing and the blood was pouring at an increasing rate. Most of the damage was coming from Rampage, but Mo did finally catch Jackson with a left hook, then tried following up with combinations and then a jumping knee. Jackson was taken down briefly but finished the round strongly with a big right hand that forced Lawal to back up as if he was hurt. Both men look tired.
Lawal was cracked with another left hook as his eye continued to swell up, but he did score another takedown to stem the tide. After being threatened by John McCarthy that they would be stood up, Rampage moved to get back to his feet. Mo briefly had Rampage's back but Rampage returned to standing position and to his striking. Mo missed with a right hand. He went for another takedown that was stuffed and then the two fighters clinched. McCarthy separated them due to inactivity with seconds remaining. Rampage hit Mo with a stiff uppercut and Lawal countered with a jab. The final bell rang with some mixed reaction from the crowd. They continued jawing well after the fight had ended.
Official Result: Quinton Jackson def. Muhammed Lawal via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Rampage (35-12) earns a title shot against Emanuel Newton. In the post-fight interview he said he wanted a rematch because he wanted to get the KO and was disappointed with his performance. King Mo (13-4, 1 NC) was adamant that he won the fight and once again called Bjorn Rebney a Rampage "dick rider" and said "if you don't like me then cut me". Rampage asked the fans if they wanted a rematch in the FedEx Forum in Memphis, and they roared their approval.
That concludes Bellator's first ever PPV. Stay tuned for post-event coverage and analysis throughout the night/early morning and throughout Sunday.