Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Cheick Kongo are going to be part of the Bellator MMA, TNA and Spike TV family. Let’s analyze this news. Rampage has lost his last 3 fights in the UFC while Kongo has lost 2 of his last 3. In what should be one of the best times in the short history of Bellator MMA. With a new TV deal with Spike TV, new opportunities for growth and exposure with shows like Fight Master Bellator should be looking at creating and nurturing their own superstars.
We all know that in MMA it’s inevitable for promotions to eventually sign talent that might have made a name for themselves in a competitors cage. Fighters are basically independent contractors and if their contract is up they are free to go where they please. However, when a promotion starts signing fading stars on the downside of their career it seems to, well, it seems like that promotion is seeking cheap headlines. That’s what it looks like when it comes to Bellator. Rampage and Kongo are big names and big draws, but their reputations were made years ago while recent history suggests that their time as elite MMA fighters might be over.
In the case of Rampage, you have a fighter that is difficult to motivate, always wants more than what he gets and even when he gets more of it (money, attention, fights) he decides that he wants to focus on something completely different. When he’s fighting he wants to make movies, when he’s making movies he wants to fight. When he gets a fight and loses its because it wasn’t the right fight for him or he didn’t train correctly or wasn’t motivated or wasn’t paid enough or wasn’t feeling loved by his bosses (seriously). Rampage was important for the UFC, but he wasn’t bigger than them which for him is a problem. Kongo on the other hand looks the part of elite heavyweight fighter and in a thin division that’s more than enough to stick around if you win once in a while, which Kongo did. He was even offered a contract prior to his last fight, an offer he declined and then got KO’d. There went his leverage and his chance of at the very least being considered a contender some day soon.
Why is Bellator signingTHESE UFC fighters? I mean they deserve to be signed and to be in a promotion like Bellator or the UFC, but the fact that they got signed after losing and (at least in the case of Rampage) to a somewhat lucrative deal, if even from the exposure side of things. Everyone knows, more exposure means more money eventually. Bellator should do themselves a favor a invest in marketing their own fighters. Those that have stuck with them through the years and have developed into elite fighting machines.