In a last-minute twist, the court-ordered injunction that the New Jersey Superior Court granted Bellator MMA exactly two weeks ago to prevented Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (pictured) from fighting Fabio Maldonado at UFC 186 was lifted Tuesday.
The shootout will once again co-headline Saturday’s pay-per-view broadcast. However, given the short notice nature of today’s announcement, the UFC said the bout will now take place at a 215-pound catchweight instead of at light heavyweight.
That move is likely to accommodate Jackson, as Maldonaldo remained in shape because he was assigned to Steve Bosse immediately after Jackson was pulled from the lineup.
“We are happy with the decision from the New Jersey Court allowing Rampage to fight in Montreal this Saturday night,” UFC president Dana White said. “I am looking forward to seeing Rampage back in the Octagon.”
Bosse’s UFC debut has been postponed for another day. No word if he’ll be compensated in any way.
The UFC announced in December they had re-signed Jackson to a multi-fight deal, despite the fact Jackson was still under contract with Bellator.
Jackson claimed that he was able to void his deal with Bellator because they didn’t hold up their end of the initial agreement. He did not elaborate on what Bellator failed to do.
In January, the UFC announced Jackson and Maldonado would co-headline UFC 186. Bellator immediately threatened legal action, which the Viacom-backed promotion followed through with by filing a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court to prevent Jackson from performing in the April 25 event.
It is unknown what happened between July 7 when the injunction was granted and today that allowed the UFC to win the emergency appeal.
As for Bellator, they will either let this die or continue their pursuit of retaining Jackson.
Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada hosts the festivities.
Here is the show’s revised roster:
(UFC Fight Pass 6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
Aisling Daly vs. Randa Markos
Valerie Letourneau vs. Jessica Rakoczy
Chris Clements vs. Nordine Taleb
Fox Sports 1 (8PM ET/5PM PT)
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. David Michaud
Bryan Barberena vs. Chad Laprise
Alexis Davis vs. Sarah Kaufman
Patrick Cote vs. Joe Riggs
(Pay-Per-View 10PM ET/7PM PT)
Thomas Almeida vs. Yves Jabouin
John Makdessi vs. Shane Campbell
Michael Bisping vs. C.B. Dollaway
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Fabio Maldonado
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Demetrious Johnson (UFC flyweight champion)