Quinton Jackson joins Bellator event

Updated: January 20, 2014, 6:01 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

Bellator Fighting Championships has announced its latest four-man light heavyweight tournament roster and it includes Quinton Jackson.

A former UFC light heavyweight champion, "Rampage" Jackson will meet Christian M'Pumbu in the opening round of the Bellator tournament on Feb. 28, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Bellator officials announced the matchup on Monday.

In addition, former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed Lawal will meet Mikhail Zayats on the other side of the tournament bracket. Both bouts will be televised on Spike TV.

"This is what Bellator is all about," Jackson said in a released statement. "I've never felt better and now it's about getting the belt. Bellator is all about tournaments and if that's what you need to do to get that belt, that's what I'm going to do."

Jackson (33-11) made his promotional debut in November, knocking out Joey Beltran in the first round at Bellator 108 in Atlantic City, N.J. The 35-year-old ended a six-year relationship with the UFC early last year.

He had been scheduled to headline the company's first pay-per-view offering in November, alongside another former UFC champion, Tito Ortiz. That bout fell through, however, when Ortiz withdrew late due to injury.

M'Pumbu (18-5-1) won the Bellator 205-pound title in May 2011, but has suffered back-to-back decision losses to Travis Wiuff and Attila Vegh since. His overall record under the Bellator banner is 3-2.

Lawal (11-3) suffered a decision loss to Emanuel Newton in a five-round interim title fight in November. The former collegiate wrestler is 3-2 since signing with Bellator in 2013, with both losses coming at the hands of Newton.

Zayats (22-7) advanced to the tournament finals in 2013, before suffering a decision loss to Newton at Bellator 94. The Russian grappler has recorded a submission in 12 of his 22 professional wins.

The Bellator title will be on the line on March 21, when current champ Vegh (29-4-2) meets Newton (22-7-1) in Kansas.

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