If you listened to the recent Bellator media call that featured CEO Bjorn Rebney and the two fighters that will anchor that promotion’s first pay-per-view card, Quinton Jackson and Tito Ortiz, you heard countless reasons why Bellator is so great. What you didn’t hear from Jackson and Ortiz, both former UFC light heavyweight champions, was one kind word about the UFC or president Dana White.
Jackson (32-11) left the UFC when his contract expired in January of this year. He ended his run with the promotion by going 0-3, losing to Jon Jones, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira.
Ortiz (16-11-1) retired from the UFC after being enshrined in the promotion’s Hall of Fame. His last fight shortly after was a unanimous decision defeat to Forrest Griffin in July 2012. Ortiz’s run with the UFC ended with him posting a record of 1-7-1 between December 2006 and his retirement.
The two will now face off in Bellator’s first PPV card, which will take place on November 2. According to Rebney, the card will cost somewhere between $35 and $45, but should not go over $50 in most markets.
Me and him (Bjorn Rebney) are a lot alike. I feel like he keeps it real. What he just said about pay-per-views, I totally agree with that. He's not going to cram it down fans' throats; every month do a pay-per-view. I think that's what UFC is doing. I think the UFC now is messing up the sport. They just doing a lot of bad things and I just feel like Bellator, the way they doing things is kind of the future of the sport.
Bellator’s future may be tied to the promotion’s first foray into the pay-per-view market and whether they can attract fans to pay for a fight card featuring a duo whose best days—let’s face the facts—are behind them.
Bellator and their parent company, Viacom, are taking a big gamble with Jackson and Ortiz.