Opinion: Will “Rampage” Jackson Show Up In Shape?
By Michael Hatamoto
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson dropped by Bellator 99 to discuss his upcoming fight with Tito Ortiz – and I don’t like what I am hearing.
Rampage mentioned he typically needs a 13-week camp to get ready for a fight – and it’s likely the first four weeks are focused on getting him back into shape and ready for actual fight training.
Meanwhile Ortiz, the former light heavyweight champion that was largely known for his solid cardio, clearly has seen age catch up to him. Instead of being able to shoot for takedowns and turn fights into one-sided wrestling fights, he has had trouble against younger, more-involved fighters – but still think he can drag Rampage down to the canvas.
The idea of watching an extremely gassed Rampage and Ortiz trying to finish a fight – especially if it goes past round two – could end up being an ugly main event PPV. Both former UFC champions spent more than eight years helping one another in training camps, and this fight is supposed to be ‘strictly business,’ hardcore MMA fans are expecting a train wreck for this fight.
I admire Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney for working with Viacom to try and grow the brand – and PPVs are a next logical step – but matching up two old, unmotivated UFC washouts clearly doesn’t seem like the best marketing strategy. It’s something that Bellator and Viacom will have to get used to because Jackson reportedly signed a “multi-year” deal to be featured on Bellator MMA and TNA professional wrestling.
I don’t really care who wins this fight, and only hope that it ends up being a fun and competitive fight, as people will be paying for it.
Stay tuned to Full Contact Fighter when Rampage vs. Ortiz headlines the first Bellator pay-per-view fight at Bellator 106 this November.