Quinton Jackson’s relationship with the UFC wasn’t perfect. The two parted on bad terms in 2013. “I was really upset with the UFC,” said Jackson. “Not everybody in the UFC. It was just the way I felt, like I should get more respect for the things I brought to the table and how I approach every fight.” Five years earlier, Rampage was fleeing police in a UFC-gifted custom truck. And like a reliable and sympathetic partner, the UFC was supportive, even though Quinton hit a couple cars, and someone accused him of killing a fetus. Those were the good old days. But as is the case with most young romances, things eventually became complicated. And a new suitor appeared.
That handsome new gentleman caller was Bjorn Rebney, former CEO and founder of Bellator MMA. The timing was right, a rogue affair was kindled, and they signed a symbolic marriage license in June 2013. An entranced Rebney gushed, calling Rampage a “true superstar both inside and outside the MMA cage.” He continued, “The partnership that we’ve created with Quinton is unlike anything that’s ever been done in the sports.” It was an exciting partnership to be sure.
A freshly inspired Jackson won his next three fights. He was invincible. A good relationship will do that to a man. But just one and a half years later, the spark was gone. Disappeared. His trust had been betrayed. “I thought he was a different person,” Jackson said of Rebney, as disillusioned lovers often do. And so, Rampage is returning to his former partner, the UFC’s Lorenzo Fertitta. “I just got me a Dodge Hellcat a couple days ago,” he said. “I want to give a big shout-out to Lorenzo Fertitta for this Hellcat. Thank you, sir. Lorenzo has always been cool.” Lavish gifts have a way of healing old wounds.
Unfortunately, Bellator is claiming their marriage certificate is still valid, that Rampage isn’t free to go. But as they say on the banks of the moon-washed Rhine, the heart is mightier than the pen, and it seems futile to wave around a legal document in hopes that a man’s love can be contractually retained. Yes, Rampage is going home, and it’s sure to work out this time.
Or in six months, Rampage will be standing at the MGM Grand, farewell flowers in hand, saying, “It’s not you, it’s me.”