LOS ANGELES – Longtime light heavyweight Quinton “Rampage” Jackson said he could make the move to heavyweight now that he’s signed with Bellator MMA.
The ex-UFC champion, who recently a signed a multi-year deal with the rival promotion that also includes work with TNA Wrestling and a four-part reality series geared around his Bellator debut, said age and competition are reasons for the potential move.
He unveiled the plan today during a press conference in Los Angeles.
“I’m thinking of heavyweight because I’m getting older now,” said Jackson, who also mentioned a lack of competition at 205 pounds. “I want to start smashing some big guys.”
Bellator’s heavyweight division is currently ruled by champion Alexander Volkov. Attila Vegh holds the light-heavyweight title.
Throughout the media event, Jackson continually praised Bellator, including the organization’s willingness to let him return to acting gigs, while taking potshots at his former home with the UFC. He said his new deal could lay the groundwork for other fighters to make the jump from the UFC to Bellator, which currently airs its events on Spike TV.
Jackson and Bellator officials haven’t determined if his first fight will come in one of the organization’s four- or eight-man tournaments, or in a non-tourney affair. But with a knee injury quickly healing, he’s hoping to fight by year’s end.
Jackso (32-11 MMA, 0-0 BFC) recently closed out his UFC career with a three-fight skid, which included losses to champ Jon Jones, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira. In 12 UFC fights, he posted an overall 7-5 record.
The fighter, who’s ranked No. 13 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA light-heavyweight rankings, announced his split with the UFC following his January loss to Teixeira. As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently reported, UFC President Dana White said Jackson made nearly $16 million during his five-year run in the UFC. But his constant clashes with UFC officials, as well as a high-profile arrest in 2008 for two felonies related to hit and run and evading police, turned the relationship sour. Jackson also launched an acting career, which included a starring role in the 2010 film remake of “The A-Team,” that took away from his time in the cage, which drew some ire from White.
For the latest on Bellator’s schedule, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.