To the apparent surprise of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, former light heavyweight champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson wasn’t free and clear to rejoin the promotion when he signed a multi-fight deal in December.
Jackson was previously/currently under contract with Bellator MMA, the UFC’s biggest rival, but the controversial 36-year-old vaguely claimed he was able to void the deal because Bellator failed to hold up their end of the agreement.
In January, the UFC assigned Jackson to co-headline UFC 186 against Fabio Maldonado. Bellator immediately threatened legal action, which the Viacom-backed promotion followed through with last month by filing a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court to prevent Jackson from performing in the April 25 event.
Today, Bellator was granted an injunction and Jackson was pulled from the lineup.
The UFC claims to be caught off-guard about Jackson’s free agent status, and even took a dig at Bellator for procrastinating until the 11th hour to make move.
“UFC has been advised of the New Jersey state court’s ruling in the matter between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Bellator MMA,” The UFC expressed in an official statement. “The UFC organization was surprised about the ruling because Mr. Jackson represented to UFC on multiple occasions that he was free to negotiate and contract with UFC. The UFC organization is also surprised that Bellator sat on its alleged rights for months before taking action.
“UFC understands that Mr. Jackson is considering an emergency appeal, and UFC is also considering action to protect its rights and minimize damages regarding this matter. UFC 186 in Montreal, Canada will proceed as planned and UFC is currently evaluating its fight card options.”
So, the good news is UFC 186 goes on as planned. The bad news is UFC 186 goes on as planned…
Here’s the card’s current roster:
Valerie Letourneau vs. Jessica Rakoczy
Chris Clements vs. Nordine Taleb
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. David Michaud
Aisling Daly vs. Randa Markos
Bryan Barberena vs. Chad Laprise
Alexis Davis vs. Sarah Kaufman
Patrick Cote vs. Joe Riggs
Thomas Almeida vs. Yves Jabouin
John Makdessi vs. Shane Campbell
Michael Bisping vs. C.B. Dollaway
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Demetrious Johnson (UFC flyweight champion)