Nearly two years after his last fight in the Octagon, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has come back to UFC in an announcement on the UFC Fight Night event Saturday in Brazil.
The news was tweeted by the official UFC on Fox Twitter account:
In the official release on UFC.com, Jackson stated that he wanted to return to the promotion because he wasn't getting the same challenge anywhere else:
I left, got my knees fixed and healed up and I got excited about fighting, and it showed in my training camps. I don’t feel like I was fighting the same caliber of guys that was in the UFC, but at the same time, my training camps went a lot smoother and made me more excited about being a fighter.
Jackson had been competing with rival promotion Bellator, winning all three of his fights, most recently defeating Muhammed Lawal in May. According to Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com, Bellator still holds Jackson's rights despite what Rampage claims:
However, Bellator President Scott Coker took to Twitter and alerted the world that Jackson is still under contract with the promotion:
It's clear that something has gotten lost in translation, which could lead to an interesting legal battle in the future. Jackson is the No. 1 contender for the Bellator light heavyweight title, though no match has been set.
Prior to leaving UFC, Jackson lost his last three fights with the promotion to Jon Jones, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira. He has been regarded as one of the best light heavyweight fighters in MMA history, but age has slowed him down in recent years.
As Jackson stated, the talent he was fighting in Bellator wasn't at the same level as he was used to seeing in UFC. He just has to figure out the contract situation to determine who he will fight next and where that fight will be.