CHICAGO —Going into his Bellator 175 main event rematch against Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson wanted to knock Lawal out this time around.
Jackson didn’t get his wish, losing to Lawal by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
“He came to fight,” Lawal said. “I had a game plan, and he was great.”
The first round didn’t prove to have much action as Lawal secured a couple takedowns but couldn’t do anything with them. Jackson did nothing in the first round except for a left hand with about ten seconds that grazed Lawal.
Jackson then flashed the “Rampage” of old in the second round, connecting first on a left hand which staggered Lawal. Jackson landed a couple more left hands, but he couldn’t put away the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion.
This fight was looking like a carbon copy of their first fight, and it played out that way when Lawal and Jackson came out exhausted to begin the third and final round. Jackson went for a sloppy takedown, and Lawal coasted for the remainder of the round to secure the decision and the fight much to the dismay of the crowd who felt Jackson had done enough to win.
Bellator president Scott Coker confirmed after the fight to Sporting News it was the last fight on Jackson’s contract.
Listening to Jacksonat the pre-fight press conference, he wasn’t himself. He’s usually cracking jokes and disrespecting his opponent. Instead, we saw a fighterwho respected his opponent and was self-reflective, specifically whenJackson clarified the remarks he made to ESPN earlier in the weekabout regrettinggettinginto the sport.
Then, the former UFC light heavyweight champion weighed in on Thursday at an absurd 253 pounds, the heaviest Jacksonever came intoa fight. It wasn’t 253 pounds of muscle— the38-year-old’s face looked bloated,and his midsection looked like he was carrying a baby.
When asked by Sporting News on if he would return to Bellator, Jackson was non-committal, saying he was going to get drunk, eat pizza and once he gets back to California, he will discuss everything with his manager Tiki Ghosn.
Lawal already has his next fight booked as Jimmy Smith announced during the post-fight interview.Lawal willface Bellator newcomer and top-ranked light heavyweight Ryan Bader in the headlining fight of Bellator 180, which will then be followed by Bellator NYC. That eventair on pay-per-view on June 24 from Madison Square Garden.
Steven Muehlhausen is an MMA and boxing writer and contributor for Sporting News. You can find his podcast, "The Fight Club Chicago," and subscribe on iTunes. You can email him at email@example.com and can find him on Twitter @SMuehlhausenMMA.