Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown”: “Rampage” Jackson Signing Could Be A Game-Changer
By Joshua Molina
Bellator took a huge step toward putting up a legitimate fight against the UFC with its signing of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
It doesn’t matter that Jackson is past his prime or at the end of his career. He’s a name and he’s a name people that people will buy a ticket to see.
He’s also the first big name to willingly leave the UFC and sign with Bellator. He essentially is saying that he would rather fight for the lesser-known competition than hang around with the UFC and enjoy a easy career wind-down, followed by a UFC Hall of Fame induction.
That’s huge. Rampage has complained for years about UFC wages. Other fighters are now speaking out about UFC pay.
When a guy like Jackson comes forward, it empowers other fighters to do the same. Jackson’s defection will open the door for other fighters and UFC personalities to sign with Bellator.
Once Bellator can sign more UFC talent, fans will start believing that there is little difference between the two promotions. The more Bellator can blur the line between itself, and the UFC, the more fans will stop drawing the mythical distinction.
Viacom needs to throw big dollars at other UFC talent — and sign someone like Joe Rogan, Mike Goldberg, Bruce Buffer or even Jon Anik to further erode the differences.
As for Jackson, they need not botch his defection. He should fight some lower-level talent to get some wins in. He should not wrestle for TNA right away. He should get on the microphone in the broadcast booth and slowly introduce himself to the TNA audience.
Bellator should not think about putting Rampage in the cage with “King Mo” Lawal for at least a year. Build these guys individually as your big stars — then match them against each other in a big pay-per-view match.
Bellator must not book its fights for the hardcore fan. Bellator must book for the mainstream fan. Hardcore fans will never leave and they will watch everything.
For Bellator to win, it needs to think big and wide. It’s all about getting eyes and advertisers to the product. As long as Bellator protects its big stars, what happens inside the cage is secondary.
Contact Josh Molina at firstname.lastname@example.org