Remember when Quinton “Rampage” Jackson fought Fedor Emelianenko in Japan last year? Yeah I tried wiping that out of memory too, but it did happen, and Rampage’s sad first-round KO loss has marked the end of his time with Bellator MMA.
The former PRIDE and UFC champion is officially a free agent, according to Bellator president Scott Coker during Wednesday’s Bellator 253 ceremonial weigh-ins in Connecticut.
“‘Rampage’ Jackson, he’s another legend,” Coker said (via MMA Junkie). “When he fought his fight in Tokyo, that was his last fight with Bellator. We haven’t even talked to him or engaged in any kind of conversations. He’s a complete free agent to sign wherever he wants to. … If you look at the direction the company is headed, it’s heading in a different direction.”
Jackson (38-14) joined Bellator from the UFC back in 2013 and won the Season 10 light heavyweigh tournament over Muhammed Lawal. In a wild turn of events, he returned to the UFC to take on Fabio
Maldobabo Maldonado in 2015, but Bellator successfully got him back shortly thereafter once his contract dispute was settled.
His second act with Bellator was decidedly forgettable apart from the fourth bout between him and Wanderlei Silva, which he won by TKO. Drab fights with Satoshi Ishii, King Mo in a rematch, and Chael Sonnen netted him just one win out of three decisions, and the aforementioned Fedor fight saw Jackson look embarrassingly out of shape and done inside of three minutes.
At 42 years old, Jackson has not indicated either way what’s next for his career, although his recent showings won’t exactly have fans clamoring for the legendary light heavyweight to come back.