Bellator MMA’s worst nightmare has become reality. Just eight days before the promotion was to make their pay-per-view debut, co-star Tito Ortiz (pictured) was forced to withdraw from the night’s featured attraction against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson after fracturing his neck.
As we all know full well in the fight biz, the show must go on. The card’s co-main event, the lightweight title tilt between champion Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez, which most MMA purists considered as the card’s true main event to begin with, has been promoted to top billing.
In addition, instead of having to pay to watch the star-studded lineup, the main card will now be available for free on Spike TV.
“I’ve said it since the day we announced the fight that Rampage vs. Tito was a fight I had wanted to see for years, and it’s unfortunately something I’m going to have to continue to wait to see,” said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. “After sitting down with our team and partners, the decision was obvious: Give the greatest MMA fans on earth this amazing show live and free on Spike.
“Our fans have been incredible to us and I’m thrilled to be able to give them this great card on the greatest network in MMA, Spike! Chandler vs. Alvarez II, Mo vs. Newton II and Curran vs. Strauss II are all unbelievable fights. This is going to be a great, great night.”
Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California hosts the November 2 festivities.
Here is the show’s revised agenda:
Darren Smith vs. Josh Smith
Joe Camacho vs. Cleber Luciano
Mike Guymon vs. Aaron Miller
Brandon Halsey vs. Hector Ramirez
Joe Williams vs. Jesse Juarez
(Spike TV 9PM ET/PT)
Terry Etim vs. Patrick Cenoble
Karo Parisyan vs. Cristiano Souza
Joe Riggs vs. Mike Bronzoulis
Cheick Kongo vs. Vinicius Spartan (Heavyweight Tournament Finals)
Daniel Straus vs. Pat Curran (Bellator featherweight champion)
Emanuel Newton vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (For interim light heavyweight title)
Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler (Bellator lightweight champion)