A lot has changed in the seven months since Quinton "Rampage" Jackson squeaked out a decision win in Bellator's first and only pay-per-view. While Bellator underwent massive internal upheaval throughout the summer, Jackson kept on the sidelines, staying largely silent about the replacement of his biggest supporter, Bellator founder Bjorn Rebney, with the wizard of Strikeforce, Scott Coker.
But as Jackson is wont to do, he eventually broke that silence with an ominous tweet late last month, musing about how "sometimes u should just stay with the devil u know" in a message addressed to his former employer, the UFC.
Jackson hasn't elaborated much on the subject since, but on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Coker agreed with host Ariel Helwani that the situation feels a bit unclear.
"I think that's a fair assessment," Coker said. "We're just waiting for him to engage us as to when he's ready to compete again. We're talking to his management and there is dialogue, but he's a got a lot of other things on his plate. I'm told he wants to open a sports bar, he has an app that he's doing, he just opened a gym, and he's extremely busy doing other things."
An off-again, on-again malcontent with thunder in his hands, Jackson effectively talked his way off the UFC roster in 2013 after losing three straight fights. Since then he's rebounded to go 3-0 in Bellator, highlighted by his controversial season 10 tournament win over Muhammed Lawal.
While Coker elected not to mention any specifics, it appears as if the 36-year-old Jackson has been slower to embrace Bellator's flashy new ownership than many of his peers.
"We're the promoter, we're the producer, and he's the talent. Sometimes talent is not happy, and that's just the nature of this business. I mean, you of all people know how many fighters fall in that category," Coker told Helwani.
"We've met [Jackson] actually many times in the past. So we have gotten to know him a little bit and have a lot of respect for him. I just think it's going to be a matter of time."
For now the situation appears to be a fluid one, as Jackson is far from the most predictable fighter. But when pressed if he was confident "Rampage" would fight again in Bellator, Coker responded simply: "Yes, I'm confident of that."