Two former UFC light heavyweight champions will collide in the main event of the first-ever Bellator MMA pay-per-view, as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson meets Tito Ortiz.
The bout was officially announced Wednesday night. It will take place November 2 from Long Beach, California and the Long Beach Arena.
“To have two of the biggest names in MMA headline our first PPV is awesome,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “Rampage vs. Tito is a fight I’ve wanted to see for years and to have it as our main event on our first pay-per-view is a spectacular next step in Bellator’s evolution. They’re both re-energized, excited and ready for a war. This will be a great fight.”
Jackson signed with Bellator earlier this year after completing his contract with the UFC. He will also appear in TNA Impact Wrestling, and his fight announcement with Ortiz was something straight out of the pro wrasslin’ world.
“Honestly, I feel like I’ve been re-born,” Jackson said. “My excitement, energy and aggression, it’s all back and bigger than ever. I feel like a kid again. The Rampage you’ll see November 2nd will be better than any Rampage you’ve ever seen. Everybody knows Tito and I have a very long history. He’s a former teammate and friend, and it’s one of the reasons I stayed away from the UFC as long as I did. But, I want to be very clear; any sort of friendship we once had doesn’t exist when that cage door shuts. I’ve got a ton to prove on November 2nd, and unfortunately for Tito he’s the guy I have to make an example of. He’s in my house now and Saturday, November 2nd on PPV, it’s going to be a horrible night for Tito Ortiz.”
Ortiz announced his own retirement from MMA last year, falling to Forrest Griffin. He has since undergone surgeries to repair his body, and opened a management firm that currently directs the career of Cris Cyborg.
“I’m back,” Ortiz stated. “Over the last few years, my passion for MMA was completely killed, dealing with UFC politics and with Dana (White). I didn’t have that drive to compete, my heart wasn’t in it. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’m free. Bjorn and Bellator put together an opportunity that made me part of the promotion, part of the family. I feel like I can breathe again and my old friend is going to be on the receiving end of all that happiness turned into an old school Tito Ortiz ground and pound beating. I’ve fought and beaten the very best in MMA history and on November 2nd, Rampage will be the next huge win on my record. This is a new era for the People’s Champion.”