Rampage Jackson Wins Bellator Tournament, but Wants Rematch, Not Title Fight

May 18, 2014
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Rampage vs King Mo weigh-inThere were a couple especially close fights at Bellator 120 in Memphis on Saturday night. One of them was the main event light heavyweight tournament final between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and King Mo Lawal.

The fight went all three rounds. When it was over, the judges awarded a unanimous decision to Rampage. Lawal, of course, was incensed.

He and Rampage got face to face in the cage after the fight, yelling about a rematch.

Their volley of words picked up again at the post-fight press conference, which provided for as much entertainment as their in-ring performance.

But at the end of the day, perhaps Rampage’s calls for a rematch had more to do with not wanting to fight current light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton than it did with his desire to lay Lawal out in the cage.

Bellator’s format awards tournament winners a shot at the champion. Newton is the 205-pound champ, but he is also a sometime training partner with Rampage, plus the two share a coach and training partners.

“Emanuel and I both share the same coach, the great Antonio McKee. That guy is the secret to my success in addition to my coaches at the Wolfslair,” explained Rampage at the press conference. “But the fact of it is, Emanuel and I, we both share Antonio McKee. We train together sometimes.

“My other coaches live in England; my team is in England. So, after fights and stuff, I take a week off and then I go up to Antonio McKee’s gym and I train with him, with the same sparring partners that Newton trains with, and we train together. So I don’t know how that’s gonna work.

“I don’t know what’s gonna happen to our gym. We’re kind of like a family. People don’t understand that when you train with somebody, you’re closer than brothers sometimes. So I don’t know what’s gonna happen.”

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney didn’t exactly seem to know what was going to happen with that situation either.

When asked if he was amenable to granting a rematch between Rampage and Lawal, Rebney was evasive with his answer.

“Talk about good problems to have,” he said. “They’re talking rematch. We’ve got Emanuel Newton, who is a spectacularly talented 205er. That’s what you look for. You look to build the kind of depth where you have a King Mo Lawal, you got a Rampage Jackson, you got a Tito Ortiz, and by the way, Emanuel Newton actually has the belt and has been beating people up.”

Rebney didn’t say yes or no to the rematch. But if Rampage and Lawal are to be taken at face value, the fighters would do the rematch at the drop of a hat.

But if they are granted an immediate rematch instead of Rampage challenging for the title, what does that say about the Bellator format and what it means to win a Bellator tournament?

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  • David Huenecke

    Seems like rampage is playing the chuck/tito card. Probably looking for a bigger payday to fight his “brother”.

  • Timothy Malone

    The decision in that fight may be debatable but Rampage still needs to fight Newton. I don’t want to see Mo vs Newton 3 when Emmanuel already beat him twice.

    • Mark McDowall

      I think Tito vs Newton is a marginally more exciting fight. But with Tito breaking necks and backs etc when the wind blows the wrong way…even as desperate as Bellator is I don’t see them basing another PPV around Tito. I honestly don’t think that they could take the hit financially if they had to cancel another PPV…or had another horrible buy rate like this one!

  • Shred Man

    Tito could fight Emmanuel and probably win. Then Rampage could fight Tito. End of problem. Tito and Rampage were suppose to fight anyway when they first came to Belatore.

    • shakejunt

      but what about the toughest tournament???

  • Tito just won; Rampage should just call for that fight since Bellator wanted to use it to begin with. He obviously took this fight believing he would beat Mo, what did he think would happen.

  • dandogood

    The UFC had a bowel movement crapped out all these bums and flushed them down the MMA toilet and Bellator picked all these turds cut from the UFC dumped and washed them up and presented as legitimate contenders. Something smells. Bellator is a toilet bowl for UFC rejects..

    • P-Pac

      Eddie Alvarez
      Wins 25 14 KO/TKO (56%) 7 SUBMISSIONS (28%) 4 DECISIONS (16%)

  • shakejunt

    what now bjorn? we’re all laughing at you.

  • P-Pac

    Tito walks into title fight—this is better than WWE

  • Mark McDowall

    So Tito beats their MW champ…want’s a title shot….
    Rampage win’s the #1 contenders match…calls for a rematch with the guy he JUST BEAT…

    Way to go Bellator…looks like you have a solid foundation of has beens and crazies to build your LHW division around!