Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has not fought outside the UFC in seven years. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Few mixed martial artists are as recognizable as Quinton Jackson. Hence the substantial investment Bellator MMA has made in him.
The man they call “Rampage” will make his promotional debut at Bellator 108 on Friday, as he locks horns with fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Joey Beltran at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. It will mark Jackson’s first appearance outside the UFC since he earned a split decision over onetime Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland under the World Fighting Alliance banner in July 2006.
“Rampage” will enter the cage on a three fight-losing streak. The 35-year-old Memphis, Tenn., native last appeared at UFC on Fox 6 in January, when he dropped a unanimous verdict to Glover Teixeira at the United Center in Chicago. Jackson has secured 21 of his 32 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission and held the UFC light heavyweight crown from May 26, 2007 until July 5, 2008. Wins over Lyoto Machida, Wanderlei Silva, Murilo Bustamante, Kevin Randleman and Dan Henderson anchor his lengthy resume, which dates back to late 1999. Jackson was the only man ever to beat UFC hall of famer Chuck Liddell twice.
Beltran, 31, has enjoyed success in multiple weight classes. The Alliance MMA export last competed at UFC Fight Night 29 in October, when he wound up on the wrong side of a split decision against Fabio Maldonado at the Jose Correa Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A San Diego native, Beltran has not fought within the confines of the Bellator cage since he defeated Sherman Pendergarst at Bellator 5 in May 2009. Notoriously durable and difficult to finish, he has lost via decision seven times in nine defeats.
With the Jackson-Beltran light heavyweight showcase on the marquee, here are 10 facts surrounding Bellator 108:
FACT 1: Russian Alexander Volkov defeated Brett Rogers, Vinicius Kappke de Queiroz and Rich Hale to capture the vacant Bellator heavyweight championship in 2012. Those three fighters own a combined 41-14-1 record.
FACT 2: The unbeaten Vitaly Minakov is a four-time sambo world champion.
FACT 3: Both of Team Nogueira representative Patricio Freire’s losses -- a June 2010 setback against Joe Warren and a January defeat to Pat Curran -- have resulted in split decisions.
FACT 4: The American Kickboxing Academy’s Justin Wilcox has five losses on his resume. Four are first-round finishes.
FACT 5: All 11 of Sam Oropeza’s fights -- nine wins and two losses -- have ended by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
FACT 6: A two-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, Marcos Galvao holds the rank of black belt in the discipline under Nova Uniao founder Andre Pederneiras.
FACT 7: Alliance MMA’s Jason Lambert is one of seven men to have held the World Extreme Cagefighting light heavyweight championship, along with Frank Shamrock, Scott Smith, Lodune Sincaid, Doug Marshall, Brian Stann and Steve Cantwell.
FACT 8: Featherweight journeyman Kevin Roddy has competed in 21 different organizations during his 29-fight career: Bellator, JB Sports Marketing Inc., Reality Fighting, Classic Entertainment and Sports, Urban Conflict Championships, Strikeforce, DaMMAge Fight League, Global Fight League, M-1 Global, Respect is Earned, World Cagefighting Alliance, Extreme Challenge, Knockout Promotions, Combat Zone, Battle Cage Xtreme, Cage Fury Fighting Championships, World Best Fighter, Ring of Combat, Xtreme Gladiators, Sportfighting and Mass Destruction.
FACT 9: A Renzo Gracie protégé, Dante Rivera reached “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 quarterfinals, where he was joined by Jesse Taylor, Dan Cramer, Tim Credeur, Amir Sadollah, Matt Brown, C.B. Dollaway and Cale Yarbrough.
FACT 10: Tom DeBlass was a two-division titleholder inside the Ring of Combat promotion.