Bellator have confirmed that a light-heavyweight tournament final between two of the promotion’s best known stars, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal will go down in the co-main event of their first ever pay-per-view event on May 17th.
‘Rampage’ has been rejunvenating his career in the Bellator cage since joining last year after a three-fight losing streak in the UFC.
So far he’s notched up two first round finishes, taking out another former UFC fighter Joey Beltran by TKO in his debut, then knocking out former Bellator champion Christian M’Pumbu just a couple of weeks ago.
On paper, ‘King Mo’ should be his toughest test to date in the promotion, though the former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion has struggled to find the kind of form that lead him to that title during a 7-0 start to his professional career after a highly decorated run in amateur wrestling.
As things stand Lawal is 4-2 in the Bellator cage with both of his defeats coming to Emanual Newton who KO’d him in last year’s tournament, and then outpointed him later in the year to win the title.
A win over Mikhail Zayats during Bellator’s 10th season premiere at the end of February booked him a place in the final opposite ‘Rampage’, but he turned in a lackluster performance that brought jeers from the crowd.
‘Rampage’ and ‘King Mo’ have had a rivalry dating back to well before they both joined Bellator, so there’s been an interest in seeing them fight for quite some time.
Nevertheless, this fight won’t get top billing on the card as that honor will go to a trilogy lightweight title fight between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler who’s previous two encounters have made for compulsive viewing.
This will mark Bellator’s second attempt to enter the PPV market, with the first, which featured ‘Rampage’ Vs Tito Ortiz on headline duties, being scrapped at the last minute due to an injury to Ortiz.