Bellator MMA is all about scooping up former UFC fighters. On Wednesday, the organization announced former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (pictured) will make his promotional debut against fellow former Octagon athlete Joey Beltran on November 15.
“I want to thank Joey Beltran for stepping up for the fight so I can get my first Bellator victory out of the way,” Rampage said. “He’ll have the unfortunate honor of taking the ass whooping I was going to give Tito. My body is in incredible shape right now. I feel like I did in PRIDE, and Joey Beltran is the right guy to put on an exciting fight and showcase what I’ve been working on.”
Rampage was initially slated to headline Bellator’s first pay-per-view broadcast this Saturday against UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz. However, Ortiz was forced to pull out at the 11th hour with a fractured neck and Bellator had to cancel their PPV debut.
Rampage owns a respectable 32-11 professional record, but went just 7-5 under the UFC’s watch and will be riding a three-fight skid into Bellator.
Beltran was recently released from the UFC for the second time in two years. The slugger has gone just 2-6 (1 NC) over his past nine scraps.
“This last month has been an absolute roller coaster of emotion,” Beltran said. “I’ve always been a warrior and thank god for my family and my teammates at Alliance MMA for keeping me focused and dedicated. I’ve always known that good things will happen to me if you put in the hard work and keep grinding, and that’s exactly what has happened with this opportunity. I fought for Bellator in 2009 when they were just starting out on ESPN, and I was fairly new on the scene as well. I loved my time there, and I couldn’t be happier to be back.”
Atlantic City’s Revel will hosts the festivities. Spike TV will broadcast the main card.