As you’ve likely heard by now, Bellator’s first jump into the pay-per-view market is off, as Tito Ortiz has fractured his neck in training and can no longer fight “Rampage” Jackson in the headliner. If you were looking forward to the fight then obviously that’s bad news (and here’s to Ortiz having a speedy and full recovery), but the good news is that the November 2nd card will go down for free, on SPIKE.
While fans and pundits are already debating whether Bellator should have pulled the plug on the PPV, “Rampage” Jackson has relayed he wanted the promotion to find him a replacement opponent. While appearing on the latest edition of “Inside MMA”, the former UFC champ stated (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“If I’m going to keep it real, I would have said, ‘Look, throw another opponent at me and still keep the pay-per-view because I trained really hard for this.’ I had my knees fixed. I just wanted to show the world and the fans that still support me that I’m back. Everybody thought I was done after I lost my fight to Shogun (Rua).”
“Throw somebody else in there like Kimbo Slice, Houston Alexander, anybody in Bellator,” Jackson continued. “I don’t know what’s going on. People keep talking about all these different guys, Tyrone Spong — I don’t know his name. Throw anybody in there. I don’t care, I’m ready. I’ll [fight] anybody. Get Chuck Liddell out of retirement. Put the pay-per-view on.”
Well, considering the promotion had just a few days to find a replacement, and one that would move PPV buys, Bellator was in a tough position. That said, “King Mo” Lawal told MMA Fighting.com’s Dave Meltzer that “I found out everything today. I told ‘em I’d fight Quinton too. I think this whole thing is weird” (the former Strikeforce champ is rematching Emanuel Newton at the event).
The “whole thing is weird”? Chances are there’s going to be some conspiracy talk tied to all this, but the bottom line is that there’s some pretty fantastic fights set for a SPIKE broadcast next Saturday.