Bellator announces Tito Ortiz vs. Quinton Jackson will headline the first PPV in company history. Reaction from fans/media is mixed with some folks wondering why two fighters who are widely seen as way past their primes were pegged for such a premier position and others left excited by the prospect of two of MMA’s biggest stars giving it one more go.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney says the company isn’t planning any more PPVs beyond their initial attempt. Specifically, he tells Sherdog, “The reality is we’re not in the business to do pay-per-views every month. That’s not our model. Ours has always been a free TV model fueled by Spike Network. We’ll do one pay-per-view, than there will be a long period before we do another one. It’s a big show with a lot of meat on the bone.”
News breaks stating Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler will defend his belt at the show. His opponent is left unnamed though a few possibilities surface in terms of recent tournament winners.
Fans half-heartedly rejoice as Bellator reveals Eddie Alvarez has returned to the organization and will face Michael Chandler in a rematch of their epic effort from 2011. Alvarez is a former lightweight champ who attempted to sign with the UFC as a restricted free agent and was basically forced to return based on some contractual wording and the potential for a drawn out lawsuit.
Bellator announces former Strikeforce champ Muhammed Lawal will meet Emmanuel Newton for an interim light heavyweight title. Lawal and Newton squared off in February 2013 with the latter pulling off a major upset by landing a perfectly-timed spinning backfist. The blow sent “King” Mo to sleep and made SportsCenter’s Top 10 highlights of the night.
A featherweight title-fight between champion Pat Curran and tournament-winner Daniel Straus is added to the card. The scrap is seen as one more crown jewel in what has quickly become a very interesting card.
Things were quiet for awhile until the unfortunate announcement of Tito Ortiz’s withdrawal from the headliner with “Rampage” Jackson based on a “fractured neck”. Though Jackson goes on record as saying he’s willing to fight a new opponent, Bellator decides to pull the show from PPV leading more than a few people questioning how strong ticket sales and buy-rate projections were.
Bellator announces Quinton Jackson will face Joey Beltran on November 15 in his promotional debut. The bout has serious potential to entertain given the reputations each man has for heavy hands, durable chins, and a love of stand-up.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Bellator 106 should officially unfold in Long Beach, California this Saturday night. Though the road has been bumpy, the show is still strong and a pair of live title-bouts on what almost equates to free television is hard to beat. Alvarez-Chandler I is arguably one of the Top 5 fights of all time and certainly the best ever in a Bellator cage. Curran is an elite 145er, plus there are also some seasoned veterans set for action including Joe Riggs, Mike Richman, Terry Etim.
Less than a week ago it looked like
Bellator would be debuting on PPV this Saturday night with a stacked show featuring two former UFC champions battling it out in the main event and some home-grown stars wowing on the featured card. However, an injury to took him out of a bout with Tito Ortiz , and the event was dramatically altered to the point it will now take place for free on Spike TV. Here’s a look at the timeline attached the tumultuous situation surrounding Quinton Jackson . (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) Bellator 106