SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Viacom invested quite a bit in Quinton Jackson when it signed the MMA standout to a multi-tiered contract two years ago. "Rampage" was promoted hard by Bellator and also made appearances on TNA Impact pro wrestling, which was on Spike TV at the time.
Last month, though, Jackson surprisingly announced that he had re-signed with the UFC, which drew many questions. Wasn't he still under contract with Viacom and Bellator? Bellator MMA president Scott Coker said that indeed is the case. But Jackson counters that he terminated the agreement per the language in his deal when a dispute was not addressed within the contracted 45-day window.
"It's disappointing," Spike TV president Kevin Kay told MMAFighting.com on Thursday at a media day to promote Premier Boxing Champions on Spike. "It's not unexpected if you look at the history of that particular fighter. That's all I can really say."
Jackson, 36, has often been down on his employers. He left the UFC in 2013 when his contract expired and spent the next few months bashing the organization, which he believed tried to ruin his brand. Jackson said the UFC continuously gave him bad matchups and caused him to no longer love the sport of MMA.
Now, though, he is back with that organization and is booked to fight at UFC 186 against Fabio Maldonado on April 25. "Rampage" tweeted in November that sometimes it's better to stay with the devil you know, referring to the UFC.
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
Coker has remained mum on the subject since his initial statement, halting questions with the phrase: "It's in the hands of the lawyers." Kay did the same thing when asked where Bellator goes from here Thursday.
"I can't comment on it," he said. "That's in the hands of wherever it's gonna be."
Though the legal team has taken the reins, it remains unclear whether Bellator will file an injunction in an attempt to block Jackson from fighting for the UFC in April.
In an interview with MMAFighting.com in December, Coker compared the Jackson situation to one between the UFC and Mark Cuban-owned HDNet Fights over Randy Couture in 2008. The UFC ended up winning that battle and Couture re-signed after initially wanting to jump ship to HDNet Fights for massive bout with Fedor Emelianenko.
Ariel Helwani asked Coker on this past Monday's The MMA Hour about "Rampage" being booked to fight at UFC 186. Coker responded: "In this sport, nothing surprises me."