The "Rampage" lottery has officially ended.
The winning ticket goes to Joey Beltran, who now fights Quinton Jackson in the light heavyweight main event of Bellator 108 on Spike TV, set to go down in just over two weeks (Nov. 15, 2013) inside Ovation Hall at Revel Resort & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Jackson's original opponent, Tito Ortiz, was forced to withdraw from their pay-per-view (PPV) headliner earlier this month, causing a ripple effect responsible for shake-ups on a handful of upcoming mixed martial arts (MMA) fight cards. Get all the gory details on that unfortunate set of circumstances here.
Beltran (14-9) parted ways with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) just last week, following a close split-decision defeat to Fabio Maldonado in Brazil. That loss -- coupled with a failed drug test last December -- left the promotion in no big hurry to re-sign him (again).
No matter, as "The Mexicutioner" now moves on to what he calls a "new chapter" in his MMA career.
Despite his many accomplishments over the course of a nearly 15-year run, Jackson (32-11) has the weight of the Bellator world on his shoulders. Designed to be the promotion's top star after signing a landmark deal earlier this year, "Rampage" needs to come out and not just win, but win big.
With "The People's Champion" down and out, all eyes are on him.
In addition, the former UFC light heavyweight champion promised a career resurgence after ditching the confines of his former employer. That said, a loss would mark his fourth in a row and at 35 years of age, could damage his marketability, which extends past the cage and into television, movies and comic books.
And ex-UFC stars have not had the best of luck in recent months.