Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will fight Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal in the co-main event at Bellator's first pay-per-view event May 17 at The Landers Center in Memphis, Tenn.
The card is headlined by the third installment between current lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and former champ Michael Chandler in what will be one of the most hotly anticipated rubber matches in MMA history.
Jackson fights in his hometown of Memphis for the first time since his professional debut against Mike Pyle in November 1999.
As expected, Rampage vs. King Mo has been added to Bellator's PPV show on 5/17 in Memphis. Alvarez-Chandler III headlines it.— Mike Chiappetta MMA (@MikeChiappetta) March 11, 2014
Taking on one of Bellator's most polarizing stars in King Mo in the light heavyweight tournament finals, Rampage understands the importance of this fight and cherishes the opportunity to showcase his skills in Bellator's inaugural PPV event.
"I’ve been wanting to come back to Memphis for the last decade, and I’m finally getting that chance to fight in one of the biggest fights of my career for Bellator,” Jackson said in a Bellator press release. “After being part of the Bellator family for a while now, I feel like the old Rampage, and that’s not a good thing for Mo. I’m back, I’m a monster, and I’m looking to put on another entertaining fight for all my fans on May 17.”
After leaving the UFC on a disappointing three-fight skid, Rampage reinvented himself under the Bellator banner.
He knocked out the iron-chinned Joey Beltran in his promotional debut at Bellator 108 in November 2013, and he recently knocked out Christian M'Pumbu with some vicious ground-and-pound at Bellator 110 to reach the light heavyweight tournament finals.
Before these performances, his last knockout came way back in 2008, when he took out MMA legend Wanderlei Silva with a textbook left hook at UFC 92.
Despite the resurgence and apparent return to form for Rampage, his opponent King Mo is not scared. He sees this fight as a chance to catapult himself into the ranks of the light heavyweight elite.
"When it comes down to it, this is a fight I’ve wanted for a long time, and I’m going to be able to beat his a** in his hometown, and everyone is going to respect me,” Lawal said in a Bellator press release. “Rampage is just a stepping stone in my way to get that title shot again and get that belt."
As two of the most prolific smack-talkers in the game, Rampage and King Mo will settle their verbal barbs inside the cage on May 17. Each man packs serious power in his hands and possesses a solid wrestling foundation, so this fight could turn into a stand-and-bang war to remember.
Who do you favor leading into the fight?
Will Rampage secure the win in his hometown, or will King Mo earn another shot at the Bellator light heavyweight title?