COMMENTARY | Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has been vocal about wanting to pursue a career as a professional boxer. It was something he couldn't do in the UFC.
But with his new deal under the Viacom umbrella, which includes his multi-year deal with Bellator, upcoming four-part reality show, movie projects and wrestling in TNA, Rampage has the opportunity to put his hands in every single cookie jar he desires. And now, if the reports are accurate, he will get his opportunity to finally compete in a professional boxing match.
According to MMA Junkie, Viacom is expected to make a blockbuster announcement to go head-to-head with UFC 168: Silva vs. Weidman 2 with its own PPV card headlined by Rampage Jackson taking on boxing's former pound-for-pound king, Roy Jones Jr. The announcement regarding the potential year-end showdown is expected to be made during Bellator 97's broadcast on Spike TV.
If this does come to fruition, it would be a circus that would rival when Randy Couture dominated former boxing champion James Toney at UFC 118, where a fully faded boxing champion takes on an MMA fighter who has been regressing over the past few years. No weight class has been revealed yet nor has the exact placement of the fight. Would it be part of Bellator's first foray into pay per view? Would it be its own entity entirely?
Regardless of how it happens, the question will be asked: "Why?" The notion that Anderson Silva wanted to fight Roy Jones Jr. was met with a lukewarm response that cooled entirely after Silva was knocked senseless by Chris Weidman. It's not as if Roy Jones Jr. is a major draw and as skilled as he once was. He currently stands at 56-8, however, after starting his career 49-1 and widely regarded as the best fighter in the world, he has fallen dramatically with a 7-7 record while being knocked out four times over the past nine years. The 44-year-old hasn't fought since last June. Jackson has yet to make his Bellator debut but ended his tenure in the UFC on a three-fight skid.
Neither are the fighters they once were, and this fight has "special attraction" written all over it. Surely, the skeptics will come in droves to pan a potential boxing match between a fading MMA fighter who has never boxed professionally and a former champion with a glass jaw who is clearly a shell of the man that ruled the boxing world.
The fight will generate some interest, but it will be difficult to make this a PPV headliner that anyone would be willing to shell out his or her hard-earned cash for. Perhaps if they sandwiched it into a Bellator card that featured a couple of title fights then it could be digested a little easier. But if it stands alone, it will likely leave a sour taste in the mouths of both boxing and MMA fans.
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).
- Sports & Recreation
- Martial Arts
- Rampage Jackson
- Roy Jones Jr
- Anderson Silva