Bellator MMA on Monday announced that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – once targeted to headline the promotion’s first pay-per-view event against fellow former UFC champion Tito Ortiz – will now join the company’s tournament format.
Jackson will make his first tournament appearance in several years when he joins the four-man light heavyweight tournament at Bellator 110. The event is slated for Spike TV to launch Bellator’s tenth season on Feb. 28 from the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.
Rampage hasn’t fought in the tournament format since the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix in 2005.
“I’m very excited to do my first tournament in years,” said Rampage during a Monday conference call with select members of the media, including MMAWeekly.com.
Rampage’s opening round opponent will be Christian M’Pumbu. M’Pumbu is a former tournament finalist, but is coming off back-to-back losses, including losing his bid to wrest the title from Attila Vegh at Bellator 91.
Also included in the tournament is a pairing of former Strikeforce champion King Mo Lawal and Mikhail Zayats.
“I’m in it, and I’m in it to win it. I’m going to win this tournament by everybody going to sleep,” said Rampage, who has moved on from the idea of fighting Ortiz, after the UFC Hall of Famer backed out of their pay-per-view headlining bout last November, citing a neck injury.
“I’m not interested in [Tito Ortiz],” said Rampage. “I’m worried about Christian M’Pumbu.”