Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has agreed to a multi-year partnership with Bellator MMA, TNA Wrestling and Spike TV, officials from the three companies announced through a press release today, Tuesday.
The signing involves Jackson competing in Bellator, along with TNA’s “Impact Wrestling,” which includes fellow Bellator fighter Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. Spike TV, according to the release, will also create a reality series featuring Rampage that will lead into his debut with Bellator.
“Rampage is a true superstar both inside and outside the MMA cage” Bellator CEO & Chairman Bjorn Rebney said in a statement. “The partnership that we’ve created with Quinton is unlike anything that’s ever been done in the sports & entertainment arena and Rampage is the perfect athlete/entertainer to carry it off.”
Jackson last fought in a losing effort at UFC on Fox 6 to Glover Teixeira. The fight was the former champ’s third loss in a row, and he hasn’t won more than two consecutive fights in almost six years.
“When you look at my deal in the UFC,” the fighter told TMZ today, “and the scope of what my deal with Bellator and TNA is, this is a dream come true.”
The addition of Jackson to the Bellator cage is one that was unlikely following the fulfillment of his UFC contract. Rebney, in a statement to Yahoo! Sports in January, said that Jackson didn’t fit in the Bellator format, adding that the fighter was in the later stages of his career.
“That would be one of those square-peg-round-hole situations,” Rebney said when asked if they would pursue signing Jackson. “I don’t think he would deny he’s at the latter stages of his career. He’s not in the infancy or even in the middle portion of his career.”
Rebney added that he would have to have a discussion with his people to determine if adding Jackson to the roster would be something they would consider. After today’s announcement, that discussion is over and the decision has been made.
Spike TV President Kevin Kay said that the Rampage signing will give his cable channel a boost in numbers, as Jackson’s prior drawing power serves as a clear indicator.
“We are thrilled to create this opportunity for one of the greatest athletes and personalities in MMA,” Kay said in the release. “Rampage is a proven ratings driver who brings incredible star power to both Bellator and TNA.”
More information regarding this signing will be made available at a press conference scheduled for Wednesday.