With Quinton “Rampage” Jackson still firmly committed to leaving the UFC following his fight with Glover Teixeira at UFC on Fox 6, the question on the mind of many fans is: “Where will he go next?”
The same goes for ex-UFC, Pride and Strikeforce heavyweight Josh Barnett, who is now looking for his home following Strikeforce's closure.
Bellator's head honcho, Bjorn Rebney, recently opened up on the possibility of Jackson joining their ranks, and firmly shut the door on Barnett. Via Twitter:
Bellator's Bjorn Rebney uninterested in Josh Barnett, open to 'Rampage' Jackson sbn.to/1096gHH— Dave Doyle (@davedoylemma) January 16, 2013
You can read his full article here. The move, to some degree, makes sense for Bellator.
Bellator is home to a handful of solid light heavyweights, including former UFC fighter Renato “Babalu” Sobral, former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion “King” Mo Lawal, and European sensation Attila Vegh. Adding Jackson gives a legitimate, clear-cut, top-ten talent to Bellator, and offers some intriguing matchup possibilities. The same, however, cannot be said for their heavyweight division.
Jackson, however, has remained a huge fan of the idea of fighting in Japan, and made sure to let everyone know how he went through great pains and fought injured at UFC 144. It's possible he may turn to ONE FC in order to return to Japan. Other serious possibilities include World Series of Fighting and India's Super Fight League.
Again, there seems to be very little hope of Jackson returning to the UFC. While Jackson first started talking about leaving the UFC a long while ago, he has stayed consistent on his desire to leave. As recently as yesterday, he was complaining about the UFC's treatment of him and other fighters.
This also, possibly, presses Barnett closer to joining the UFC. The top-ten heavyweight has always been talented, but his lengthy history with PEDs and constant animosity towards Dana White has put him at odds with the promotion.
Keep checking in to see what happens with Jackson and Barnett, and how he fares at UFC on Fox 6.