Headlining on this Saturday’s Bellator 120 PPV will be what is dubbed as ‘MMA’s biggest grudge match’, between “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal (12-3, 1 NC) vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (34-11) in a fight to determine the next title contender in the light heavyweight division.
A feud that started many years ago—dating back to Rampage’s early days with King of the Cage–was further escalated when the two met to square off in the cage post-fight at Bellator 110, following Rampage’s win over Christian M’Pumbu. The two long-time enemies will finally settle their differences in the cage, but before that they both appeared on AXS TV this past Friday to discuss their upcoming fight.
“I don’t really like Mo,” Jackson said. “I put up with him when we had the same sponsor [MMA Elite]. But him and I were never cool, we were never friends. We had an altercation back in the past before we even knew it was going to be a reality that we was going to fight each other.”
Rampage also told AXS TV that part of his reason for signing with Bellator, after his contract finished with the UFC, was to fight Lawal.
“Half the reason why I signed with Bellator was because Mo was over there. I want to fight him, he said some stuff to me that I took pretty personal back in the day. He told me personally that he wanted to retire me, he basically wanted to fight me when I was on my way out. I have no respect for any fighter that says I want to fight an older, weaker, you, when you’re on you’re way out.”
Unlike in the past, the motivation will not be lacking for one, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, in part due to his fight being in front of a hometown crowd in Southaven, Mississippi–nearby his actual hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
“I can remember the last time I’ve been this motivated to actually destroy somebody, I got two factors here. I’m going to be fighting in front of my hometown crowd, and I get to fight the guy who talked so much smack for all these years,” Jackson said.
The former division 1 All-American wrestler out of Oklahoma State, King Mo returned verbal fire by saying that he has the clear advantage in wrestling and will be able to do whatever he so chooses to Rampage in the fight.
“When it comes down to wrestling man, I got a big edge on him in wrestling,” Lawal said. “If I want to take him down, he ain’t stopping me. If I want to throw him, he ain’t stopping me. If I want to single leg, high crotch, double leg him, snap him down, body lock him, he ain’t stopping me. Whatever I choose to do, what ever I want to to do, is going to happen to him.”
Lawal also critiqued the technique of his opponent’s striking, saying that he will be the more technical fighter come Saturday night.
“He can stand and bang, but I’m going to stand and box. He’s a brawler, I’m not no brawler, I’ll brawl if I can but more than anything I’m going to be technical with him. I’m going to stick and move, make him miss, make him pay.”