Jackson left Bellator in December to return to the UFC, which already has him lined up to fight Fabio Maldonado on April 25 at UFC 186 in Montreal. Bellator, however, feels that Jackson’s return to the UFC is in violation of his uncompleted contract with them.
“Today, Bellator MMA was compelled to go to court to stop Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson from fighting in an April 25th bout promoted by Bellator’s competitor, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC),” Bellator revealed in a statement released to MMAWeekly.com. “Jackson, who has completed only three fights of his exclusive six-fight contract with Bellator, is barred by contract from fighting for any promoter other than Bellator.
“Our lawsuit for an injunction and related relief – filed in the Chancery Division of the Superior Court in Burlington County, New Jersey – will compel Jackson to honor his contractual agreement. We look forward to having one of our MMA stars fighting for Bellator again.”
When Jackson left Bellator behind in December, he believed that he was within his rights to cancel his contract and re-sign with the UFC. He said that he was in a dispute with Bellator, who failed to respond within the window that his contract with them specified, so he left.
“After five months of grueling negotiations and gray-area contract talks with Bellator MMA and parent-company Viacom, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson officially terminates his contract with the up-and-coming promotion citing multiple breaches since the removal of President and Founder Bjorn Rebney,” read a statement from Jackson’s camp upon his signing with the UFC.
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“Jackson exercises a clause in the agreement that allows for a 45-day window to satisfy any contract dispute. Bellator MMA, failing to fulfill the requests of Jackson, was put on notice, failed to respond and eventually notified that negotiations were officially terminated.”
Much like its dispute with former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, Bellator and parent company Viacom will take its conflict with Jackson to the courtroom.
The legal battle with Alvarez was lengthy, eventually ending with Alvarez returning for a brief time to Bellator and then leaving for the UFC. It appears we could be watching a similar scenario unfold with Jackson.