In January at Bellator 170, the promotion announced a rematch would take place between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal on Mar. 31 from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL, in a heavyweight bout. Jackson won the first fight at Bellator 120 in May 2014 by unanimous decision in a fight which could have gone either way, but was quite underwhelming.
The relationship between Jackson and Lawal appears to be hot and cold. Early in their careers, they were friendly, then on the outs, and then in 2012 as part of an MMA Elite sponsorship, they were pals again. Since the two fought in 2014, they're back on the outs.
The man who knocked out and stopped the reign of Chuck Liddell to become the UFC light heavyweight champion at UFC 71 in May 2007 explains how the rift started between the two.
"He said that I was talking to four white people and he tried to come up and shake my hand and I ignored him," Jackson told Fightful.com. "So, he didn’t like me. That’s where it all started at King of the Cage. He didn’t know who I was talking too. I don’t care what color people are. If I’m talking to somebody, don’t try to come and interrupt me. I’m not going to do it to you. I’m from the south. I have manners. I’m going to sit there and wait until you’re done talking. That don’t got nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with MANNERS. Have some (expletive) manners."
Even though Jackson isn't too fond of Lawal, he does respect the fact the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion will fight anyone at any time, and in any weight class. Those feelings aside, Jackson is bothered by the fact Lawal still feels he won the first affair.
"I’ve tried to like King Mo because he’s not that bad of a guy," Jackson exclaimed. "Like he will go in there and fight anyone. Yeah, I respect him. He’ll go in there and hump, oh I mean fight anybody. You got to respect that with a man in getting in the cage with heavyweights, light heavyweights and guys you have never heard of, legends. He’ll fight anybody. He don’t care. You got respect that but this guy is saying he won the fight because he lasted until the final bell. So, that’s a win for him. He wants to make this whole façade that he won the fight. It just rubs me the wrong way."
The emotions between Jackson and Lawal are real, despite the two manufacturing a bit for a few TNA Wrestling appearances a couple of years back. The feud continued when they faced off at Bellator 170 as Lawal called Jackson 'fat' and 'lifting donuts'. "Rampage' knows he needs to keep that in check if he's going to walk out of Bellator 175 victorious.
"It don’t have to be a knockout but I do prefer a referee stoppage," Jackson stated. "I would love in a perfect world if he’s on the canvas face down and drooling. I’m talking about drooling. And when his corner people wake him up, the first thing he will say is ‘What happened?’ That’s the perfect scenario. But, if the referee pulled me off of him and stuff like that or he tapped out, I’ll be happy with it."
Fightful.com will have full, live coverage and discussion of Bellator 170.