Jul. 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Tito Ortiz reacts following his loss in a light heavyweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ortiz retired following the fight. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tito Ortiz out of “Rampage” fight, Bellator 106 moves to TV

The MMA world is in chaos.

It was announced that Tito Ortiz had to pull out of his scheduled match with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, due to a neck injury. The two were scheduled to headline the Bellator 106 pay per view, Nov. 2.

Rather than find a replacement opponent for Jackson, Bellator will move the event to Spike TV and will be headlined with the lightweight title rematch between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler. The “Fight Master” finale fight between Joe Riggs and Mike Bronzoulis will be moved to the main card. Although it is not a pay per view, Alvarez will still get his pay per view bonus as per his contract.

Most MMA fans and critics are of the opinion that something like this would happen. Many were also not surprised that Spike TV and Bellator would move the card to television, which is great for the fans and for that I give them props.

During an interview with MMA Fighting, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney took a shot a the UFC and said “Our competitors put on we are going into the ppv space, but our competitors do ppv every three to five weeks if their card is good or not. We do ppv when our cards when our card is spectacular.”

True, not every the UFC has on television is great, but UFC 162, UFC 163, UFC 164, UFC 165 and UFC 166 have all had exciting main events and made headlines, even if their lower cards did not not complement the entire event.

Even with Ortiz out and Rampage scrapped from the event and still had a stellar card to put on pay per view. With three title matches and two tournament finales – assuming Bellator would have moved the “Fight Master” finale to the main card-  Bellator 106 had the potential to be a spectacular card.

There was speculation on the lack of tickets sold and the buy rate of the pay per view, but Rebney said Bellator 106 sold more tickets than reported. If the increased numbers are true, does this mean that Bellator didn’t have enough faith in the Alvarez vs. Chandler rematch – which would have been “Fight of the Year” in 2011 had Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua not had their war – to carry a main event of their first pay per view? There were several reasons for making that fight the headliner for the event, most notably Alvarez’s relationship with Bellator.

Rebney also said he hopes to have Rampage fight before Thanksgiving. He will also evaluate Ortiz when he is medically cleared, which is expected to take anywhere from four to eight months. My question is when Ortiz is medically cleared, will he  still be willing to lace up the gloves and step into the Bellator cage? More importantly, will we still care?



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Tags: Bellator 106 Bellator MMA Spike TV Tito Ortiz

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