Quinton “Rampage” Jackson returned to the cage last Friday after a year out of action, a forced hiatus due to the extended legal battle with Bellator MMA. That finally came to an end and brought him back to the organization, where he defeated Satoshi Ishii on Spike by decision.
It was far from a great performance from Jackson, and he readily admits that a lack of training during his layoff played a significant part in him looking less than his best.
“Not only did I not fight for a year, but I didn’t train for a year,” Jackson said of the layoff after the event (via MMAJunkie.com). “All I did was play video games. I was so depressed, I was just sitting at home playing video games and drinking beer. You can’t be a professional athlete doing stuff like that. I’m going to change my life and get back in the gym.”
As for what’s next after edging that decision over Ishii, Jackson believes the fight Bellator initially wanted to book against Tito Ortiz may make sense for them to book now, even if it’s not his first choice.
“Tito, we were supposed to fight [at Bellator 106], and I really didn’t want to fight him then, but it’s my job to fight,” Jackson said. “If Tito wants to fight, I think we’ll put on a good show. It’ll suck to knock my friend out, but I’ve got to get a knockout. … If Tito wants to do it, we can do it.”
Penick’s Analysis: Jackson-Ortiz is one of the more reasonable fights for them to make, and would be one of the biggest they could put together for casual fans. That said, neither of them wound up drawing as much as names like Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock, so we’ll see if Bellator’s marketing push can boost it further. Regardless, I believe that second fight for Jackson here will be the final obligation he’s got to Bellator through the settlement, and then the next question will be whether or not he makes it back to the UFC once again.
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