Bellator 97 Fallout: Tito vs. Rampage and 4 Other Awful Ideas in MMA
Sometimes people have bad ideas.
Sometimes, thankfully, those bad ideas are very public and the whole world gets to look at them at laugh.
Bringing Tito Ortiz out of retirement to fight Rampage Jackson is one of those ideas, and Bellator was just kind enough to do it where we could all see. It's the type of train wreck that, since the UFC crushed most other competitors, there just isn't enough of anymore.
Here are some other beauties that are right up there with this latest debacle.
UFC 1: Art Jimmerson Wears One Glove, Taps to Mount
Courtesy: MMA Bay
This isn't the same type of bad idea as Tito and Rampage meeting up, but it's definitely the same calibre.
Having no idea what he'd be getting himself into in a one night, no holds barred tournament, then-ranked cruiserweight boxer entered the cage against Royce Gracie wearing a single boxing glove. He later stated the plan was to stick gloved jabs before trying to score a bareknuckled KO.
Didn't really pan out that way.
Gracie took him down with ease and worked to get to mount. Before he could submit Jimmerson, the boxer elected to skip a step and tap to position on account of having, like most of us watching, no idea how to get out or defend himself.
UFC 9: Severn vs. Shamrock
The early pinnacle of this comically outdate mentality came at UFC 9, when two of the first true stars clashed in Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock.
The fight happened in Detroit, and only hours before the event word leaked that if anyone got hurt as a result of the bareknuckle event there may be legal intervention and arrests.
The result? A majorly hyped main event that devolved into something of a slap fight between two legitimately nasty dudes. Unfortunately, they weren't so nasty that they'd be willing to go to jail for the sake of a prizefight.
Severn won a split decision, but the less said about the event, the better. It was probably better to scrap the whole thing at the last minute than put off fights that were little more than exhibitions.
There's a pretty long list of promotions that saw two guys punching each other and thought: "YES! I want to make money from people doing that too!"
YAMMA Pitfighting may or may not have desired such an outcome but regardless, their setup alone was one of the worst ideas MMA has ever seen.
Taking place in some strange hybrid pit-cage, the event was actually promoted by original UFC owner Bob Meyrowitz and was slated to feature some classic names like Gary Goodridge and Don Frye.
The plan was to bring back the one night tournament, which was eventually won by veteran Travis Wiuff under a series of modified rules.
It was a strange event, and the promotion hasn't been active since April 2008.
UFC 118: James Toney vs. Randy Couture
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In 2010, boxing great James Toney decided that he was going to become a two-sport star and make the jump to MMA.
He neglected to realize, however, that he was 42-years-old at the time and had literally never trained any ground techniques in his life.
A point that he deemed erroneous to his success in the UFC, Toney chased Dana White all over the country and called him a chicken, a man who was afraid that Toney would come in and expose some member of his roster as a flawed combat athlete.
When White gave him a fight, with living legend and well-rounded beast Randy Couture, Toney learned the hard way that he might have overestimated his crossover capacity.
At UFC 118, Couture put Toney on his back, walked him to the cage and pounded his face in for almost an entire round before sinking in an arm triangle and securing a win.
Toney has yet to return to the cage (despite a near fight with Ken Shamrock), but he's probably better off sticking to the big gloves for now.
Bellator 106: Ortiz vs. Jackson Live on Pay-Per-View
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It wasn't that long ago that Bjorn Rebney swore he didn't want UFC washouts, and that he'd never lower himself to signing them.
Fast forward a little bit, and the promotion is going to pay-per-view for the first time ever with two UFC washouts that people probably wouldn't watch for free at this point.
Ortiz was a retiree t-shirt salesman managing the (uh-oh) best female fighter on the planet, and Jackson was a TNA wrestler that signed with Bellator as much to pursue that childhood dream as to continue his MMA career.
Literally nobody—no one—anywhere in the world, was asking for this fight in 2013. Very few people wanted it in 2006, the last time both guys were good and still relevant at the same time.
To make this fight, and to launch a pay-per-view on the backs of their stardom, is a godawful idea. Putting that time and effort into guys like Michael Chandler and Pat Curran, the true stars of Bellator, makes far more sense at this point.
Make no mistake, Bellator may live to regret this.
Then again, as you've seen here, they're not the first ones to have a bad idea in MMA.