When Bellator signed fighters Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz, they also signed deals with TNA Impact Wrestling. Bellator forced both fighters to pull out of their TNA appearances heading into their big fight to prevent injuries. It didn’t matter as Rajah reported on Oct. 25 that Tito Ortiz just pulled out of the fight citing a neck injury.
This is a huge blow to Bellator. The pay-per-view that was headlined by Rampage Jackson vs. Tito Ortiz was the first for the company and was a calling card to the MMA world that they were a serious force to be reckoned with. Now, with Ortiz pulling out of the fight, they might end up cancelling the PPV completely and making the card a free one on Spike TV.
There is no word yet on whether Rampage Jackson will still fight against a new opponent since the show is just one week away on Nov. 2.
The Tito Ortiz neck injury apparently occurred while he was training for the fight.
With the fight in question, the direction of Bellator from here is also in question. This was supposed to be their marquee fight as they enter the PPV business. With both fighters older, it makes it look like they don’t have the hot young talent of a competitor like UFC and are a second rate promotion, especially if there is no marquee fight to replace Rampage vs. Ortiz.
Whether this will also cause Bellator to refuse to allow their fighters to appear on TNA Impact Wrestling in the future, based on injury concerns, is also a big question for both companies.