If you thought former UFC light heavyweight Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson was headed for a showdown inside the Bellator cage opposite former top boxer Roy Jones, Jr., think again. Despite rumors and reports the announcement of that bout was imminent, Jackson and Bellator pulled a fast one on the Spike TV broadcast. In an interview with Bellator announcer Jimmy Smith inside the cage at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Jackson announced he'd face fellow former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Oritz.
The fight is set to take place in the Long Beach Arena on November 2. No other fights on the card were announced.
"Man, I'm happy to be back here on Spike TV," Jackson said. "I'm training hard, man. I'm back motivated. I found my love for MMA again. Now I'm with a reputable company that knows how to treat their fighters. It's on.
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet. There's a lot of rumors out there. I don't know how that one got so big. You know, I'm down to fight Roy. I'm a big fan of his, though. I'm a big fan. I'mma tell you: the only pair of Jordans, the first pair of J0rdans I ever bought, was 'cause Roy Jones had them on. You know what I'm saying? I'm a big fan of that man. He's from the South, I'm from the South. He's one of the best boxers of his time. A legend. He's the man. I seen him knock people out with no hands. You know what I'm saying? But this time, I'm going to give the fans what they want. My first fight in Bellator, I want it to be an MMA fight, not a boxing match. Because I love MMA. Again. I'm fighting this guy that's coming out right now."
At that point, the UFC of Hall of Famer and former champion Ortiz entered the cage and faced off with Jackson.
"I've fought the best of the best in the world," said Ortiz. "I've been fighting for a long, long time and Rampage too. We've exchanged with each other; we've been friends for a long time. It's time to push the friendship aside. It's about giving the fans what they want to see and the best fight possible is going to happen here in Bellator."
Given the nature of the surprise announcement, no details were available about the nature of Ortiz's contract.
"Man, Tito is a great showman. I've seen this guy work. I've seen him train. I know it's going to be one of the best fights in history."