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Rampage Jackson returns to Bellator MMA following lawsuit settlement

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson is headed back to Bellator MMA after settling a contract dispute between him and Bellator.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Quinton Jackson is back with Bellator MMA after more than a year-long lawsuit between the two parties over Rampage's contract. This news comes just two months shy of his UFC 186 co-main event vs. Fabio Maldonado. Here's today's press release in full:

Following an amicable agreement to settle the litigation between the two parties, the always entertaining and exciting Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is returning to Bellator.

Bellator MMA is thrilled to have "Rampage," one of the most recognizable fighters in the history of the sport, joining a very competitive light heavyweight division featuring champion Liam McGeary, Phil Davis, King Mo, Tito Ortiz, Emanuel Newton, Linton Vassell among others.

The contract issues arose back in December when the UFC announced that they had signed him despite Rampage still being under Bellator contract. Rampage said that Bellator was in breach of contract, while Bellator claimed the same for Rampage. As the legal process ensued, Rampage's fight with Maldonado was nearly thwarted at the last minute by a preliminary injunction filed by Bellator MMA. The injunction was initially granted by a New Jersey judge, but the decision was overturned the week of UFC 186. Rampage won by unanimous decision but has otherwise spent the rest of 2015 and into 2016 dealing with the Bellator-filed lawsuit, which has come to its conclusion.

MMA Fighting also notes that Rampage signed a two-fight contract, but "Terms of the new deal or settlement were not disclosed. No word just yet on when Jackson will fight again, however, it will come in 2016."

Jackson (36-11) last fought for Bellator in May 2014, when he defeated King Mo by unanimous decision in the promotion's only pay-per-view to date.

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