'Rampage' to fight Muhammed Lawal

Updated: March 11, 2014, 2:47 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

A light heavyweight bout between Quinton Jackson and Muhammed Lawal has been added to the first-ever Bellator MMA pay-per-view event on May 17.

The card, which is headlined by a lightweight title fight between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, will take place at Landers Center in the Memphis, Tenn., suburb of Southaven, Miss.

A South Memphis native, "Rampage" Jackson welcomed the news. The former UFC and Pride champion has not fought in the area since 1999.

"I've been waiting to come back to Memphis for the last decade," Jackson said. "I'm finally getting that chance to fight in one of the biggest fights of my career for Bellator."

Jackson (34-11) has scored back-to-back first-round knockouts since signing with Bellator last year. He earned his way to the light heavyweight tournament final with a finish over Christian M'Pumbu at Bellator 110 last month.

Lawal (12-3) punched his ticket to the final on the same card, outpointing Mikhail Zayats in a three-round decision. A former Strikeforce champion, "King Mo" is 4-2 in the Bellator cage. Both losses came to champion Emanuel Newton.

"When it comes down to it, this is a fight I've wanted for a long time," Lawal said. "I'm going to be able to beat his ass in his hometown and everyone is going to respect me. Rampage is just a stepping stone on my way to get that title shot again and get that belt. It's all I want, and after I beat Rampage, I'm going for that belt, simple as that."

Bellator planned to make its pay-per-view debut last year with a non-title light heavyweight bout between Jackson and Tito Ortiz on Nov. 2. The fight was moved to cable when Ortiz withdrew because of injury.

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