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Quinton "Rampage" Jackson Draws Joey Beltran for Bellator Debut

Yahoo Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | Now that the PPV showdown between Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson is off the table due to Ortiz' neck injury, Bellator had to look elsewhere to find a fight for Rampage as they couldn't afford to leave him on the shelf. Instead of fighting on November 2nd, Rampage will make his debut for Bellator on November 15th when he faces former UFC fighter Joey Beltran in Atlantic City on free TV.

It is obviously not as a high profile name as Ortiz was, but it is a familiar name that Jackson will be facing in his first fight with the organization. Beltran was recently released by the UFC after his loss to Fabio Maldonado at UFC Fight Night 29 back on October 9th. But to put it in perspective, this is a fight we probably would not have even seen in the UFC. Either way, Rampage needed a winnable fight and Beltran is the type of guy who is known for slugging it out with competition.

"I want to thank Joey Beltran for stepping up for the fight so I can get my first Bellator victory out of the way," Rampage said. The former UFC light heavyweight champion has lost his last three fights and holds an MMA record of 32-11. "He'll have the unfortunate honor of taking the ass whooping I was going to give Tito. My body is in incredible shape right now. I feel like I did in PRIDE, and Joey Beltran is the right guy to put on an exciting fight and showcase what I've been working on."

"This last month has been an absolute roller coaster of emotion," Beltran said. The former UFC heavyweight who dropped down to light heavyweight back in 2012 holds a 14-9 MMA record but has only won two of his last nine fights. "I've always been a warrior and thank god for my family and my teammates at Alliance MMA for keeping me focused and dedicated. I've always known that good things will happen to me if you put in the hard work and keep grinding, and that's exactly what has happened with this opportunity. I fought for Bellator in 2009 when they were just starting out on ESPN, and I was fairly new on the scene as well. I loved my time there, and I couldn't be happier to be back."

"Getting the chance to fight Rampage is just a tremendous opportunity. This is my Rocky Balboa moment. A win against one of the best and well known fighters in the world would be an incredible accomplishment, and I'm not taking it lightly. Rampage better be prepared and ready for this fight. I'm prepared to go through hell during this fight. There will be blood. Someone is going to get hurt. This is my home now, and I don't want to go anywhere. It's Rampage first, then a Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament, and then onto the title."

Andreas Hale is a former editor at websites including BET.com and HipHopDX.com. Today, he resides in the fight capital of the world and has covered boxing and MMA for mainstream media outlets such as MTV.com and Jay-Z's LifeandTimes.com, as well as die-hard outlets, including FightNews.com, Fight! Magazine, Ultimate MMA, CagePotato.com and others.

You can follow him on Twitter (@AndreasHale).
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