Quinton Jackson is no longer under contract with Bellator MMA -- at least as far as "Rampage" is concerned.
Jackson said Saturday night on FOX Sports Live that Bellator did not honor his deal and, after 45 days of his manager trying and failing to fix things, he terminated the pact. The UFC announced Saturday night during the UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Dollaway broadcast that "Rampage" had re-signed with the organization.
"I haven't been happy with my contract at Bellator for awhile, since after the pay-per-view with King Mo," Jackson said. "Bjorn Rebney, I don't know what happened. He left Bellator, got fired -- I don't know. The contract just wasn't right. My manager and I, we were trying to fix it. Bellator, they didn't want to fix it in 45 days. I terminated the contract."
Jackson fought and beat Muhammed Lawal at the Bellator 120 pay-per-view on May 17. Rebney was ousted as Bellator president by parent company Viacom a month later and replaced by former Strikeforce head Scott Coker.
MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani reported on Twitter that Jackson's main beef with Bellator is that the promotion did not provide the pay-per-view numbers after the Lawal fight as it was contracted to do.
I'm told the main issue here is Rampage is claiming Bellator refused to provide the PPV #s for the Lawal fight …— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 21, 2014
… which they were contracted to do. So when that became clear, he terminated the contract. More in here: http://t.co/oLR3Kxxurl— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 21, 2014
"It's just one of those things where people don't honor their contracts and it's just not cool," Jackson said. "You can be a big company and that means you don't have to honor your contracts?
"The UFC, the one thing about them, they did honor their contract no matter what things went wrong with them. At least they did honor their contract. You sign a contract for a reason. You're bound by law to do what you say you're going to do. If you can't honor your contract, that's the type of company I don't really want to be associated with."
Coker tweeted Saturday night that Jackson was still under an exclusive contract with Bellator and that the organization would protect their contractual rights, perhaps alluding to litigation.
Let us be clear that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is under an exclusive contract with #BellatorMMA. We will protect our contractual rights— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) December 21, 2014
Jackson (35-11), the former UFC light heavyweight champion, did not leave the UFC under good terms the first time. After his contract expired following a loss to Glover Teixeira in January 2013, "Rampage" signed with Bellator in June 2013 and ripped the UFC for killing his brand and contributing to the demise of the sport of MMA.
UFC president Dana White and Jackson went back and forth in the media a few times, based mainly around how much White said Jackson got paid as a UFC fighter -- upwards of $15.2 million over a five-year span. Jackson denied that figure. But "Rampage" said he and White never had any personal issues.
"We were always cool," Jackson said. "I understand, it was just business. I didn't like that the UFC kind of changed the picture, like I retired, saying I got cut from UFC. But I didn't take it personally. I don't take business personal most of the time. I didn't have any bad blood with Dana White. I just wished that things were a bit different."
Jackson said he and White have not really spoken. But the UFC boss got in touch with Jackson's people when "Rampage" tweeted his unhappiness with Bellator in November.
Just a thought.. But I've learned a big lesson in life and business: sometimes u should just stay with the devil u know @ufc— Quinton Jackson (@Rampage4real) November 18, 2014
Jackson won three in a row in Bellator after falling in three straight to cap his first run in the UFC. "Rampage" said he could return to the Octagon in "early 2015."
"I want to come back and fight as soon as possible," Jackson said. "I've been missing the training camps and getting out there. I only got a few more years left in me. I want to put on some exciting fights."