Quinton Jackson said he can’t be too upset about Tito Ortiz pulling out of their fight at Bellator 106 due to an injury, but “Rampage” was hopeful the organization would find a replacement and keep the event on pay-per-view.
As we reported earlier today, Ortiz (16-11-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) fractured his neck and was forced out of the Nov. 2 headliner with Jackson (32-11 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), a fellow ex-UFC champ. Bellator MMA officials today announced the injury, as well as the event’s move to Spike TV and the promotion of the co-headliner between lightweight champion Michael Chandler and ex-titleholder Eddie Alvarez to the headlining slot.
However, Jackson told AXS TV’s “Inside MMA” on Friday that he was hoping his fight – and the PPV plans – could be salvaged.
“If I’m going to keep it real, I would have said, ‘Look, throw another opponent at me and still keep the PPV because I trained really hard for this and had my knees fixed,’” he said. “I wanted to show the world and the fans that still support me that I’m back. Everybody thought I was done after I lost my fight to ‘Shogun’ (Rua).
” … Throw somebody else in there like ‘Kimbo Slice,’ Houston Alexander, anyone in Bellator. … People talking about Tyrone Spong – I don’t know his name. Throw anybody in there. I’m ready. I’ll fight anybody. Pull Chuck Liddell out of retirement.”
Jackson was laughing as he said those final two names, but there was little doubt he sincerely wanted to stay on the card. Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney said he hopes to get Jackson a fight soon, though no definitive plans have been set.
Ortiz, meanwhile, isn’t expected back in the cage until 2014.
“I hope Tito has a speedy recovery,” Jackson said. “I know how it is when you’re a warrior and you’ve been injured. Hell, I’ve been injured my last two fights. It’s not a pretty sight. It’s really hard.”
For more on Bellator 106, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
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