City of Memphis Declares May 17 'Rampage' Jackson Day Prior to 'King Mo' Fight

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst IMay 17, 2014

Der Schauspieler Quinton Rampage Jackson posiert am Freitag, 30. Juli 2010, in Berlin bei einem Pressetermin fuer den Film
Jens Schlueter/Associated Press

The city of Memphis has declared today, May 17, as a day to recognize Quinton "Rampage" Jackson leading up to his Bellator Season 10 Light Heavyweight Tournament Final bout against Muhammed Lawal.

Bellator's official Twitter page posted the official proclamation written by the Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, A C Wharton, this afternoon. 

Here's 1 way to welcome this Memphis native - Today is proclaimed as Rampage Jackson Day! @Rampage4real#Bellator120pic.twitter.com/B7Fe4rz7tC

— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) May 17, 2014

Jackson is obviously getting a lot of support from his hometown as he returns to the cage for the second time this year after injuries only allowed him three fights between 2012 and 2013. 

"Now, therefore, I AC Wharton, Jr., Mayor of the city of Memphis, Tennessee, do hereby proclaim May 17, 2014 as a day to recognize Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and I encourage all citizens to welcome Quinton "Rampage" Jackson back to the city of Memphis and offer our support to one of our very own," the proclamation says. 

After losing three consecutive UFC fights between September 2011 and January 2013, the former Pride and UFC champ has rebounded with back-to-back knockouts over Joey Beltran and Christian M'pumbu in the Bellator cage.

Meanwhile, Lawal, a former Strikeforce titleholder, has gone 4-2 under the Bellator banner, with both losses coming at the hands of interim Bellator light heavyweight champ Emanuel Newton. 

Most recently, "King Mo" won a decision over Mikhail Zayats in the tournament semifinals back in February. 

At the weigh-ins, Rampage and Lawal exchanged words, culminating in Jackson shoving his upcoming opponent, though many pundits believed the interaction appeared at least partially staged, per MMA Fighting.

Bellator 120, the promotion's first pay-per-view event, takes place at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi, this evening and is headlined by Rampage vs. Lawal. 

Also featured on the main card is Bellator middleweight champ Alexander Shlemenko bumping up to 205 pounds to square off with UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, while the Bellator interim lightweight title will be decided when Michael Chandler faces Will Brooks. 

John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.