After having his Bellator pay-per-view headlining bout with Tito Ortiz fall apart, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is still itching to get into the cage. He’ll do so against fellow UFC veteran Joey Beltran on Nov. 15 at Bellator 108.
Bellator officials announced the bout on Wednesday.
Rampage and Ortiz were originally slated to headline Bellator’s first pay-per-view event, which was to take place Saturday, Nov. 2, in Long Beach, Calif. When Ortiz withdrew from the fight due to a fractured neck, however, Rampage was pulled from the event as well.
The remainder of the fight card, including three title bouts, was shifted over to free television on Spike TV, ditching Bellator’s pay-per-view plans.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, upon announcing the change, said that he wanted to get Rampage a fight before the Thanksgiving holiday, and he has done so.
Rampage and Beltran will square off on Nov. 15 at Revel in Atlantic City, N.J. Bellator 108 will air live on Spike TV.
“I want to thank Joey Beltran for stepping up for the fight so I can get my first Bellator victory out of the way,” Rampage said. “He’ll have the unfortunate honor of taking the ass whooping I was going to give Tito.
“My body is in incredible shape right now. I feel like I did in PRIDE, and Joey Beltran is the right guy to put on an exciting fight and showcase what I’ve been working on.”
Beltran (14-9) has been on a rocky road the past few years. He was released by the UFC following a two-and-half year stint with the promotion, returned for three bouts, but following a split decision loss to Fabio Maldonado earlier this month, was again cut loose.
“This last month has been an absolute roller coaster of emotion,” Beltran said. “I’ve always been a warrior and thank God for my family and my teammates at Alliance MMA for keeping me focused and dedicated.
“I’ve always known that good things will happen to me if you put in the hard work and keep grinding, and that’s exactly what has happened with this opportunity. I fought for Bellator in 2009 when they were just starting out on ESPN, and I was fairly new on the scene as well. I loved my time there, and I couldn’t be happier to be back.”
Although he stepping in on just two weeks notice to face the former UFC light heavyweight champion, Beltran realizes this is an opportunity to put his career back on track.
“Getting the chance to fight Rampage is just a tremendous opportunity. This is my Rocky Balboa moment. A win against one of the best and well-known fighters in the world would be an incredible accomplishment, and I’m not taking it lightly,” he said.
“Rampage better be prepared and ready for this fight. I’m prepared to go through hell during this fight. There will be blood. Someone is going to get hurt. This is my home now, and I don’t want to go anywhere. It’s Rampage first, then a Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament, and then onto the title.”