Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will be returning to action after all. Just not against the opponent everyone was expecting.
Four days after his planned pay-per-view bout against Tito Ortiz fell out due to an Ortiz neck injury, Bellator announced a new fight for the former UFC light heavyweight champion. Jackson will fight Joey Beltran in the main event of Bellator's Nov. 15 card in Atlantic City, N.J.
"I want to thank Joey Beltran for stepping up for the fight so I can get my first Bellator victory out of the way," Jackson 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."
Jackson (32-11) signed with Bellator amid much fanfare this spring. He carries a three-fight losing streak into his Bellator debut, with his last bout a unanimous-decision loss to Glover Teixeira at UFC on FOX 6 on Jan. 26.
Beltran (14-9, 1 NC), meanwhile, was recently cut by the UFC. The Alliance MMA slugger known as "The Mexicutioner" lost a split decision to Fabio Maldonado in Brazil on Oct. 9. That was his fourth loss in his past six fights. A 2012 victory over Igor Pokrajac was overturned when Beltran failed a steroid test.
"Getting the chance to fight Rampage is just a tremendous opportunity," Beltran said. "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. 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."