In an entirely unexpected development, it’s being reported that Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and boxer Roy Jones Jr have being targeted for a fight at an end of year pay-per-view event.
The story comes from MMAJunkie.com who cite an undisclosed source from within ‘Rampage’s long-time fight camp, ‘Wolfslair MMA’.
According to the source it’s Bellator owners Viacom who are behind it and that after seven months of discussions they will finally unveil the blockbuster crossover fight during the Bellator 97 event next week on Spike TV. That suggests that they’d be aiming to have fights from the promotion on the rest of the card and use the hype surrounding the main event to help raise the profile of the Bellator brand and it’s fighters.
If it’s true – and sherdog.com also claim to have confirmed it with a source, it’s a move that’s come completely out of left-field. It had been known that Jones Jr had been pursuing a potential fight with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva – indeed he was actually cage-side to watch his historic knockout loss to Chris Weidman just a few weeks ago.
At no time had there been a suggestion that a fight with ‘Rampage’ was also under consideration, though the former UFC star had indicated that he was interested in competing in a boxing match. That doesn’t mean that negotiations weren’t happening behind closed doors though, and the fact that Silva lost and then signed up to an immediate rematch in December may have been the catalyst for Jones Jr to accept the fight with Jackson instead.
On that note, the fact that Viacom are rumored to be targeting an end-of-year show is also very surprising given that means that they could be going head-to-head with UFC 168 featuring that aforementioned rematch along with Ronda Rousey Vs Miesha Tate 2.
That would seem to be a bold and rather risky move for Viacom to make. Questions also remain about whether the fight would be an MMA or boxing bout and at what weight class the fight would take place given that Jones Jr is considerably smaller than ‘Rampage’.
Overall, it’s a fascinating development though and we’ll be keeping a close eye on any developments in this story right here on https://mmainsight.com.