It was announced during the UFC Fight Night 58 broadcast on FOX Sports 1 that former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will be making his return to the UFC.
Jackson last competed in the UFC in January of 2013 when he was defeated by Glover Teixeira via unanimous decision. The loss to Teixeira marked Jackson’s third straight loss, the previous two coming against UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, and Ryan Bader.
Following his departure from the UFC, “Rampage” would make the move to Bellator where he would go on a three-fight winning streak. During his time in Bellator, Jackson defeated Joey Beltran and former Bellator Light Heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu via first-round knockout; and would then defeat former Strikeforce Middleweight champion “King” Muhammed Lawal via a controversial unanimous decision.
Jackson recently spoke to UFC.com and discussed his return to the UFC, his time in Bellator and possible future fights.
“It hasn’t really hit me, but it sounds like most people are happy for me to come back. I feel like I can put on some exciting fights. I don’t feel like there are a whole lot of people out there putting it on the line the way I do.
I left, got my knees fixed and healed up and I got excited about fighting and it showed in my training camps. I don’t feel like I was fighting the same caliber of guys that was in the UFC, but at the same time my training camps went a lot smoother and made me more excited about being a fighter.
I went out in the world and I looked at the other side and said ‘man, the grass looks greener over there across the street.’ So I ran across the street and looked at the grass and it got ran over by the lawnmower. (Laughs) Sometimes you think the grass is greener and you’ve got to take that chance. I never would have known if I hadn’t gone out there.
I just want to put on good, exciting fights. I don’t really care about fighting people like Dan Henderson because I already beat him. I know it was a close fight, but I know I beat him and that was a historic night for me. That was the night I unified the belts and it was one of my favorite moments in my fighting career. But guys like Shogun (Rua), I really want to fight him. I love Shogun as a person, he’s a great guy, and a great warrior, but I want fights like that against Shogun, and Rashad and Glover and Jon Jones. The guys I really want to face again are the people that beat me.
I’m gonna bring the fans exactly what they need. They need some excitement and they need some fun. I like to keep people laughing, I like to keep them yelling and screaming and I want to keep people on their toes. The UFC needs Rampage and I’m coming back full force.”
Jackson is expected to make his return to the octagon in the first quarter of 2015.