Not only does tournament winner Quinton Jackson have no interest in challenging the division's champion Emanuel Newton in a title fight, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney appears to be content with that decision.
Bellator, which is synonymous with the tournament structure in MMA competition, was built with the purpose of objectively finding legitimate title challengers who have worked their way through the tournament in any particular season. ‘Rampage,' who won the season 10 light-heavyweight tournament with his controversial victory over ‘King Mo' at Bellator 120, has no interest in following that clear structure, and instead wants nothing to do with the 205lb. champion Emanuel Newton.
The reason behind Jackson's reluctance in accepting the title fight is due to the fact that he trains with Newton and does not want to segregate the gym simply for a Bellator title shot.
Rebney does not appear to be concerned with the fact that his tournament winner does not want to challenge for the title, and instead stated on MMAJunkie Radio that he does not wish to "disrespect" ‘Rampage' by pressuring him into a fight he does not want to take.
"The reason ‘Rampage' and I have had such a good relationship is we've approached things as guys working together, not me mandating what's going to happen," Rebney told MMAJunkie Radio. "That's the same way we're approaching this. You've got a guy with a split allegiance (in McKee), but ‘Rampage' has earned a world title shot. ... I'm going to talk to him about it, but I'm not going to disrespect a guy who's been nothing but standup with us. He's rocked and rolled as a promoter for us, so I'm not going to say we're making this fight and plant this flag in the sand."
The Bellator CEO also stated that there would be plenty other intriguing fights for Jackson if he does not wish to challenge for the title.
"He's a world-class athlete, so you can pick and choose and move around fights and do pseudo-superfights, or you can look to recapture a world title on a stage where there's a lot of good fighters," he said. "It's an epic fight, and there's some other great fights for us at 205, as well."