Former UFC champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has reportedly booked his first fight since signing with Bellator Fighting Championships, but it won't be an MMA bout.
According to MMAJunkie.com, Jackson will instead be strapping on the boxing gloves to face former multi-divisional champion Roy Jones Jr. The weight limit is currently unspecified, and the match will be a Viacom/Bellator-produced pay-per-view event to close out the year.
Bellator officials were unavailable for comment at the time of publication when contacted by Bleacher Report.
Jackson has been out of action since January when he lost a unanimous decision to Glover Teixeira in his final bout in the UFC. Following that fight, Jackson was granted free agency and opted to sign a long-term deal with Bellator. Additional deals are in place with parent company Viacom and TNA pro wrestling.
Since signing his new deal, Jackson has been appearing on TNA wrestling while rehabbing an injured knee that ailed him for the biggest part of his last few fights with the UFC. There was no timetable for his return to action, although he speculated it would be before the end of 2013.
Now all signs are pointing toward Jackson stepping back into the cage/ring later this year while facing a former boxing legend in his return fight.
Roy Jones Jr. has had his name tossed around MMA circles for the last few years, most notably by former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who long talked about facing him in a boxing match.
UFC president Dana White even teased that he was talking to Jones during UFC 162 fight week about possibly making a deal to put him in the cage with Silva. Unfortunately, that plan all fell to the wayside thanks to Chris Weidman ending Silva's reign as champion with a second-round knockout victory.
That left Jones without any potential opponents, but it seems Bellator and Viacom were still interested in matching him up with somebody from the MMA world. That somebody is Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
It's unknown at this time how Viacom or Bellator would promote such a fight given the fact they are not in the business of boxing, but at least the skeletal work has been formed and the rumor has been spread.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report