Bellator MMA have lost their November 2nd main event, due to Tito Ortiz’s latest injury, and in-turn they have cancelled their debut pay-per-view. The event is now set to air live on Spike TV.
The news broke today that Tito Ortiz had suffered a fractured neck, and will be unable to compete against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson next week at Bellator 106. Shortly after, Bellator announced a press conference where they revealed the decision to broadcast the event for free on Spike TV.
“I’ve got bad news, and I’ve got great news,” said Rebney. “The bad news is that I can confirm that Tito has fractured his neck and will be unable to fight next Saturday. His doctors confirmed that fighting with Tito right now could have dire consequences, so Tito is off the card and our thoughts and prayers are with him in what we hope will be a great and full recovery.
“The great news that I’ve got, because I’ve got the greatest partners on Earth at Spike and Viacom like Kevin Kay and people like Wade Davis, we’re going to give Chandler-Alvarez II for the lightweight title, Lawal versus Newton II for the light heavyweight interim world title, Curran versus Strauss II for the featherweight world title, and a bevy of other really great fights, all to the best MMA fans on Earth, for free on Spike TV, Saturday night at 9 o’clock Eastern time.”
A replacement for Ortiz was not found; however, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told the media that he had contacted Atilla Vegh five weeks ago, on the chance an alternate would be needed, but ultimately that didn’t come to fruition and here we are.
According to Rebney, Bellator still intend to hold a pay-per-view event one day – but insisted that this was the right move for next week’s card.
“We will do pay-per-views, there will be PPVs under the Bellator banner — but sitting down, literally for the last 24 hours, and talking to Kevin and the entire team over at Spike and my whole team, it just made sense to keep this literally where it is right now, to give fans these great fights for free.”
It’s not known how long the former UFC Champion Ortiz will be side-lined, but he has suffered from numerous neck-related injuries in the past so this can’t be a good sign. Rebney hopes to book “Rampage” in a fight as soon as possible.