Bellator’s season opener on Feb. 28 on Spike TV in its usual Friday night slot at 9 p.m. ET, taking place at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn.
Bellator has announced two fights for the season opener and here they are with some big names.
- Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (33-11) will take on former Bellator light heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu (18-5-1) in the first round of a four-man tournament to get a title shot.
“Yeah, I wasn’t interested in doing the tournament,” admitted Jackson, who ended a three-fight losing streak in the UFC with a first-round knockout of Joey Beltran in his Bellator debut on Nov. 15. “For a tournament, I like how Pride was, two fights in one day (in the finals). My manager told me I should fight in the tournament so I can win the belt. Why not be champion? A lot of things come with the championship belt. My manager talked me into it, and this is the toughest tournament in MMA. I want to establish myself as top of the food chain.”
On how his recent twitter war?
“I’m worried about Christian M’Pumbu,” he said. “He’s the only person on my mind.”
- Mikhail Zayats (22-7) takes on former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion “King” Mo Lawal (11-3 1) in the other semifinal that night.
“I’m not going to sit here and say I’m changing up my whole game plan, and you are going to see a new fighter,” said Lawal. “That’s just not me. I know what I do. I know who I am, and that’s who you are going to see on Feb. 28, plain and simple. Me. It’s all about getting that belt.”
When asked what Rampage thinks of King Mo?
“Well, there’s no secret that King Mo and I didn’t see eye-to-eye years ago,” said Jackson. “I don’t know what his problem was. We did a signing together with MMA Elite. We were civil. We’re human beings, not wild animals. But we don’t hang out. We don’t go clubbing. He’s a fighter just like I am. You put someone in the cage with me, and I’ll try to knock King Mo out. As long as he keeps his mouth shut, I won’t try to kill him.”