Bellator MMA will have one last shot at blocking Quinton “Rampage” Jackson from returning to the UFC, after the promotion today filed a lawsuit to stop him fighting at UFC 186.
Bellator have announced that the lawsuit asks a judge to grant an injunction and “related relief” which will “compel Jackson to honor his contractual agreement” following the former UFC Champion signing with the promotion (UFC) in December 2014.
Bellator are claiming that Jackson has only fought three of his contracted six bouts in the deal he signed in 2013. The statement was hopeful that the lawsuit would see Rampage return to the Bellator cage. “We look forward to having one of our MMA stars fighting for Bellator again.”
Since leaving Bellator, Jackson has continued to support that his Bellator contract contained a provision for the termination of his contract if certain breaches were not settled within a designated time frame. Jackson and his team claim that they exercised this option and do not see Bellator’s challenge as a valid lawsuit.
It seems a last minute attempt from Bellator to try and salvage something from the situation with Rampage but in my opinion they are clutching at straws. Whilst there is no way of telling what was in the contract, Rampage and Bellator have clearly fallen out and even if there was an obligation for him to fight six times, how can you make a fighter fight for a promotion that he doesn’t want to?
Things are made difficult given that the original deal was signed when Bjorn Rebney was in control and furthermore I see it very hard to believe that Zuffa’s lawyers would allow for this situation to escalate and allow Bellator to ruin things for the UFC.