This Saturday night at The Landers Center in Memphis, Tennessee, MMA veterans Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal will duke it out inside the Bellator cage on the promotion’s first attempt at pay-per-view.
Originally set to serve as the co-main event of the show, Rampage vs. King Mo was bumped up to the headline spot when Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez went down with an injury, resulting in the cancellation of his rubber match with former champion Michael Chandler. Instead, Chandler will battle Bellator prospect Will Brooks in the co-main event of the show.
Both Rampage and King Mo are still currently under contract to pro wrestling company TNA, with the company president Dixie Carter scheduled to attend on Saturday night to support her part-time employees.
For the first time on a big stage in the sport’s second-biggest existing promotion, a very pro wrestling-style story line surrounds the main event of their show.
Rampage and King Mo have a long history of talking trash to each other in the media, a situation that started after Mo felt Rampage slighted him at a local MMA event several years ago.
After verbally sparring with one another for years, but at all times being separated by promotional boundaries, the two finally found themselves in the same company at the same time. It was only a matter of time until their sights would be set on each other.
Bellator set up a mini-tournament, giving each guy an easy road to victory, allowing them to build their status up a bit before being paired against each other, with Rampage knocking out Christian M’Pumbu in the first round, and Mo winning a three-round unanimous decision over Mikhail Zayats, both of which took place on the February 28th show that aired live on Spike TV.
That night, following Rampage’s victory, which served as the main event of the evening, Mo, who had won his fight earlier in the night, entered the cage and got in Jackson’s face. Jackson, full of adrenaline, went on a bit of a “Rampage,” and repeatedly told Mo that he was going to “take his spot.”
Both men are longtime pro wrestling fans, with each having dabbled in the sport from time to time. Rampage served as one of the celebrity guest hosts of RAW a few years ago while, while he was promoting his role in the “A-Team” film. Both guys have appeared multiple times on TNA’s weekly Impact Wrestling show, which airs every Thursday night on Bellator’s cable home, Spike TV.
Borrowing a page from the book of HBO boxing promotion, Bellator had Rampage and King Mo sit down at a table and talk trash to each other face-to-face to promote the fight. The sit-down ended with Rampage pie-facing Mo and the two physically advancing at each other.
In addition to Chandler-Brooks, another fellow TNA part-timer will be featured in one of the co-main events of this Saturday’s Bellator pay-per-view. “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” is set to lock horns with top Light Heavyweight prospect Alexander Shlemenko.
Bellator 120 takes place this Saturday night at The Landers Center in Memphis, Tennessee, and airs live on pay-per-view, starting at 10pm EST. The prelims for the show will air live on Spike TV at 8pm EST, with former UFC Heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo fighting in the featured televised match.