It was recently announced that Quinton Jackson will make his return at Bellator 175 on March 31, 2017, to rematch Muhammad "King Mo" Lawal live on Spike TV in a bout contested at Heavyweight. After that, "Rampage" will have fulfilled the final fight on his contract with the Viacom-owned company. And while the former 205-pound champion isn’t sure what his next move will be, he didn’t completely rule out a return to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
In fact, despite their past issues, Jackson says he still has love for the promotion, though he isn’t too thrilled about the possibility of having to rock Reebok gear for his fights.
"I got nothing against UFC," he said during a recent appearance on "The MMA Hour." "UFC has been good to me, the only thing that I have a problem with UFC is the whole Reebok thing, to be honest. That is the only problem I have with UFC. Other than that, UFC has been cool to me with this whole shit going down with Bellator."
To hear Jackson tell it, when he had his own exclusive deal with Reebok while fighting for UFC, he wasn’t allowed to show off the company’s logo on his shorts. Fast forward a few years and fighters are obligated to wear only that. It’s a move that doesn’t sit too well with Jackson.
"I‘m the one who brought Reebok over there when I had that shoe deal with them, and I couldn’t even wear Reebok on my shorts," he explained. "Now they do a whole deal with Reebok and you have to wear their stuff and I heard Reebok isn’t paying the fighters much for wearing it. So I fell out with them and they are with UFC and I don’t want to wear Reebok. That’s my only thing with UFC, I don’t want to wear Reebok, so if there is any way I can go back over there and if I wear just the UFC shit, and not wear Reebok, then it would be easy for me."
Furthermore, Jackson strongly feels UFC "jacked" the Reebok sponsorship, as well as others from him after he brought them with him to the promotion.
"I had Boost Mobile go over there, Boost Mobile was my sponsor then they came to UFC. I didn’t get no thank you, no bonus or anything like that. Reebok, same thing, I kind of got bombarded and my sponsors got jacked. But, I never said anything, but after I did my deal with UFC then Reebok gets that deal with UFC."
As Jackson revealed, he is still legally binded to a contract with UFC, as he still owes them some fights after regretfully bolting to Bellator MMA in 2014. That said, it will be interesting to see just where "Rampage" ends up once his final fight for Bellator MMA is complete. One thing is certain, though, as he says he is likely done cutting down to Light Heavyweight and will continue to fight in the land of the big men moving forward.