clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

With Rampage Jackson, nothing is ever quite as it seems

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Quinton Jackson is another word for complicated. You get the feeling "Rampage" may not know an injunction from an outjunction from Petticoat Junction, but he always had a feeling he’d fight on Saturday night and guess what -- it turns out he will. Here he comes, there he goes, beware the Mighty Bungalows.

The lawsuit filed by his former (at times current?) employer Bellator FC in the state of New Jersey that was to prevent him from competing at UFC 186 was nothing more than a little something to confuse poor Fabio Maldonado. At first, in a bit of highly theoretical matchmaking, Maldonado was facing Jackson. And then, after some legal action, he wasn’t. One click of the gavel meant former hockey player Steve Bosse was in. Two meant he was back out. 

(I thought I heard two. Did you hear two? Could have sworn it was two.)

When the injunction came down to prevent Jackson from competing in Montreal the UFC was flummoxed, and Bellator was stoked. On Tuesday, when that injunction lifted like a morning fog just five days before fight day, Bellator was disappointed, and the UFC was pleased. UFC president Dana White, who didn’t necessarily like Jackson just a couple of years ago, said he liked "Rampage" now because he goes in there to finish fights. Bellator sees him today as a paradox -- the greatest finisher to ever leave things so unresolved.

Somewhere, in an underground lair that from the outside looks like an ordinary mountain face, Bjorn Rebney is stirring a tall Tanqueray and tonic with a naked finger.

If you are confused by any of this, join the freaking club. All I know is Jackson-Maldonado is back on, and that’s got to be triply confusing for Maldonado, who has to be wondering if he lost more than he realized in that Stipe Miocic fight.

All I can say is that when Quinton Jackson fights it’s usually pretty complicated, and this time he’s really raising the bar. In his last fight in Bellator against Muhammed Lawal he won a fight he sort of lost. In his last fight in the UFC -- before he left full of mood and aspersions -- he lost to Glover Teixeira in a let’s-just-get-this-out-of-the-way fight. Before then he lost to Ryan Bader, a wrestler, and was disgruntled because Bader was not only a wrestler (something he hates), but also a stinking wrestler (which he really can’t abide by). That was the time he was casually tinkering with TRT. When asked to explain himself about that, he said, well…here’s what he said to Sherdog.

"If I was losing my hair and the doctor told me, ‘You need a hair transplant,’ I’m going to do a hair transplant. If I get my tooth knocked out like did against [Lyoto] Machida, I’m going to get a new tooth put in my mouth. If my testosterone gets low and the doctor tells me, ‘You need to raise your levels back up to where you used to be when you were 25,’ and you’re fighting these young folks, I’m going to go do it."

But all of this is just a sideways glance at the bottom line. The thing that matters is that, after clearing some legal hurdles and a tug-of-war over the word "breach," Jackson is fighting Maldonado again on Saturday in Montreal, and really nobody outside of the Viacom offices is overly upset about it. In fact, plenty of us just went, "oh, hell yeah," when we heard. Some didn’t.

"WTF," wrote one colleague.

And see, that’s a good question. With Rampage it’s always a little bit like that. "WTF" indeed. Maldonado is saying "WTF." Bosse is saying "WTF." Bellator’s saying "WTF." Yet for all we know "WTF" stands for Watch The Fights, because with Jackson, well, it’s always a little complicated like that.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting