By Jonathan Solomon
If you were looking for news out of left field, you are going to love this.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is expected to box Roy Jones Jr. on a pay-per-view directly against UFC 168 on December 28.
According to MMAJunkie, Bellator MMA and its parent company Viacom will make the fight official next week during Bellator 97 on July 31.
No further details are known at this point, whether it be the weight the two may compete at or whether there would be any MMA fights on the PPV, either. Bellator has never been featured on that format, having exclusively been a cable television product since their first show in 2009.
Jackson turned 35-years-old last month after he signed a long-term deal with Viacom’s properties including Spike TV (and their professional wrestling entity Impact Wrestling), Bellator and Paramount Pictures. He has been a pro MMA fighter since 1999, getting into the sport through his time as an amateur wrestler in Memphis. He participated in a pair of kickboxing matches in 2002, defeating Cyril Abidi in each.
The legendary boxer Jones Jr. (56-8) is 44-years-old and has not competed since he defeated Pawel Glazewski in Poland last summer. Roy weighed in at 183-pounds for that fight while Jackson has consistently fought in MMA at 205-pounds and was insistent that in Bellator, he’d move up to heavyweight.
Jones had been undefeated for his first 34 pro fights until 1997 when he was disqualified for illegally hitting Montell Griffin (in the rematch, Griffin was knocked out in the first round). His first sincere loss came in 2004 when he was stopped by TKO against Antonio Tarver. Including that fight, he has gone 7-7 since 2004.
The heaviest the 1990s “Fighter of the Decade” has been for a fight was 193-pounds when he famously defeated John Ruiz to become WBA heavyweight champion in 2003. In 2011, he returned to that weight in a unanimous decision win over Max Alexander to become the UBO intercontinental cruiserweight champion.
He has talked for years about potentially fighting then-UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a boxing match, but the timing never worked out. Jones was present earlier this month when Silva was knocked out by Chris Weidman at UFC 162.
A representative from Wolfslair MMA, Jackson’s camp, told MMAJunkie, “We’ve been talking to Roy and his people over a potential fight for over seven months. [Bellator CEO] Bjorn [Rebney] has been in these discussions every step of the way. I can’t say much more than that.”
Bellator 97 takes place Wednesday night on Spike TV with a double main event featuring welterweight champion Ben Askren fighting Andrey Koreshkov and lightweight champion Michael Chandler taking on David Rickels. Plus, “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal will clash with Jacob Noe in the light heavyweight tournament finals.
Now, perhaps the most anticipated aspect of the stacked show next week will be confirmation that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will indeed be scheduled to fight Roy Jones Jr. later this year.
Stay with MMAOnline.com for the latest developments in this breaking story.
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