Quinton Jackson, better known as "Rampage," is returning to MMA, but this time it won't be as a light heavyweight.
After contractual disputes, the former UFC light heavyweight champion signed back with Bellator for a two-fight deal. His first fight back in Bellator will be contested at a 225-pound catchweight against judo Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii at Bellator 157 on June 24. The bout against Ishii will serve as a tough test, since Jackson hates fighting southpaws.
"Honestly, I didn't really know much about him because I don't really watch a lot of fights," Jackson said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I didn't know anything about him, but then I heard he's a southpaw and a judo guy, and I was like, 'ah, hell.' This is going to be a good test for me because, to be honest, I don't do well against southpaws. And judo is kind of awkward for MMA, that's why Ronda Rousey was smashing girls so bad, so quickly. Because somebody that can do judo efficiently in MMA, can be very dangerous if you don't know how to handle it."
After his fight with Ishii, it's uncertain who Jackson will be facing next, but it's likely it won't be against a light heavyweight.
"I haven't really thought about it, but I'm thinking about maybe fighting heavyweight or something like that," Jackson said. "I'm not going to lie, I'm too old to be cutting weight. I'm over all the cutting weight sh*t."
Keeping in mind Bellator's relationship with Rizin FF, it's not far fetched to think that a fight with heavyweight superstar Fedor Emelianenko could come to fruition.
"That would be an incredible fight," Jackson said. "Fedor is back. He's always been one of my favorites, and I really love his fighting style. That would be a great fight to put me in as well, but you know, Fedor and I are friends, we don't talk to each other cause we speak different languages. But at the end of the day, like I said, my job is to fight. So if that fight comes up, I would happily take it."
Aside from a super fight against Emelianenko, pairing Bellator's recent signing of long-time UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione with Jackson could be a fight that interests fans.
Jackson and Mitrione have history that dates back to 2009, when Jackson was the coach of the rival team that Mitrione competed for in The Ultimate Fighter season 10. Additionally, according to Jackson, Mitrione challenged him to a fight via text message back in 2012.
Still, while Jackson is not fully opposed to fighting Mitrione, there is another contestant of The Ultimate Fighter season 10 that he would rather face: Darrill Schoonover, or as Jackson calls him, "T*tties."
"I'm sure Matt Mitrione's ugly ass wants to see that fight happen too," Jackson said. "I'm not opposed to it, but I don't want to fight two southpaws back to back. Like I said, I f*cking hate to fight southpaws because it's hard to find sparring partners and stuff, but hey, at the end of the day it's my job to fight, and I'll fight anybody.
"I don't turn down fights, but i really want to fight T*tties. I have no beef with Mitrione, I had beef with T*tties. I've really been trying to fight T*tties, but Bellator doesn't want to see it for some reason. I don't understand why not. T*tties needs to get these hands all up in his face. I told T*tties, if I win, I'm going to motorboat him. And I ain't lying."
It's strange to see Jackson want to fight Schoonover, who's 1-3 in his past four fights, and settle the feud with that brewed almost seven years ago during TUF 10. But Jackson has his reasons.
"Because T*tties keeps talking sh*t, and he's still on my Twitter talking sh*t," Jackson said. "I'm a fighter, so if another fighter is talking sh*t to me and sh*t like that, I'm going to fight him. I don't have to fight him in Bellator, I can go to his house, you know what I'm saying. I get paid to fight, so I want to be civil, so I can get your fat ass [Schoonover] in the cage and let's fight. Now, talk about a thing from TUF 10, that's who I had the beef with. It was T*tties not Mitrione, but I'll fight Mitrione. But I'm going to tell you who I really want, I want to shut T*tties' ass up."