In what must come as a huge blow to Bellator, Tito Ortiz has withdrawn from his planned bout against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson with a neck injury.
Ortiz and Jackson were to headline Bellator’s first pay-per-view show, which was scheduled for November 2nd. The promotion will have to wait a little longer to break into the pay-per-view business though, as it was announced that the fight card – which features quality rematches between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, King Mo and Emanuel Newton, as well as Pat Curran and Daniel Strauss – has been downgraded to a free show on Spike TV.
“I’ve said it since the day we announced the fight that Rampage vs. Tito was a fight I had wanted to see for years, and it’s unfortunately something I’m going to have to continue to wait to see,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said of the fight cancellation. “After sitting down with our team and partners, the decision was obvious: Give the greatest MMA fans on earth this amazing show live and free on Spike. Our fans have been incredible to us and I’m thrilled to be able to give them this great card on the greatest network in MMA, Spike! Chandler vs. Alvarez II, Mo vs. Newton II and Curran vs. Strauss II are all unbelievable fights. This is going to be a great, great night.”
No details yet as to the severity of Ortiz’s neck injury, but it’s an ailment he’s struggled with and had surgery to correct in the past.
The fight card will now air live at 9:00pm EST on SPIKE TV on November 2nd.