Despite the setback, Rebney says Ortiz will have another opportunity to compete under the Bellator umbrella.
"Sure, I'm worried about it," Bjorn Rebney said following Saturday's Bellator 106 event, which took place at Long Beach Arena in California. "But it's Tito, and I've known him for a long time, and I made a commitment to him that we would try to give it another run.
"This went s--tty, and the assumption is he'll heal and we'll give it a run. He's had injuries, but he hasn't made a career of pulling out of fights. He's as disappointed as anybody, but if he heals as anticipated, we'll schedule another fight."
Rebney plans to let Ortiz decide when his MMA career is over. He has no interest in telling a former UFC star when to hang up the gloves for good.
"Who are we to tell Tito Ortiz when he can and cannot stop fighting?" Rebney asked. "He had a fracture in his neck. I spoke to a top-level specialist who did the neck surgery on Tito. The reason he couldn't fight is because it was fractured, and if he got dropped on his head the right way, it could splinter and go into his spinal cord and paralyze him.
"But it's a fracture like a broken arm. Once it heals, there's no more likelihood that it might fracture into your spinal cord than you or I. So when he gets well, if he wants to fight, we'll figure it out and make it work."
Ortiz dropping off the Nov. 2 Bellator 106 card ended up being a blessing in disguise, as Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez stole the show with a brilliant "Fight of the Year" contender bout in the main event of the evening.