Ortiz out, Bellator PPV now on Spike

October 25, 2013

MMA Fighting reports that due to an injury to Tito Ortiz, the Bellator PPV is off and now is being switched to Spike TV.  Rampage Jackson will not fight next Saturday although he is expected to fight soon.

Despite having Eddie Alvarez-Michael Chandler moving to the top of the card, Bellator and Viacom decided that it would be best to move the card to Spike TV.  Bellator head Bjorn Rebney and Viacom’s Kevin Kay told the media about the move in a Friday afternoon conference call.

While the cause of the PPV cancellation was an Ortiz neck injury occurring earlier this month, Rampage and Ortiz were promoting the fight yesterday on TSN’s “Off the Record” according to MMA Fighting.

The mediocre PPV card has now become a very strong Spike TV card.  Yet, the news seems very disappointing for the number 2 MMA promotion.

Payout Perspective:

Give it to Bellator for trying to spin bad news into good.  While it made the decision to pull its PPV debut, it placed a very entertaining card on cable television.  But, it brings up the question as to whether Bellator is really equipped for PPV.  This was something that was playing out in the Eddie Alvarez lawsuit before the parties settled.  Even though Bellator had argued that Alvarez-Chandler could headline a PPV in the lawsuit, when faced with the reality, it decided to place the entire card on Spike.

The cancellation of the PPV due to the Ortiz’s injury can be seen a number of ways.  First, it is fortunate as Bellator likely wanted a flawless debut on PPV with its intended main eventers to headline the show.  Since it could not do this, it was likely that PPV numbers would suffer and the inevitable bad press would follow.  It will likely do better ratings on Spike TV than it would do PPV buys.  Simply put, more eyes will be watching Bellator November 2nd than it would if it was on PPV.

On the other hand, the cancellation of the PPV proves that the company is not ready or capable of running a PPV despite the months of planning.  It shows that there was not a viable “Plan B” and that a Plan B was never cultivated (i.e., lack of Bellator to produce/market a fighter that could step in for Ortiz).  Even though Atilla Vegh was mentioned, how many people knew he was Bellator’s Light Heavyweight champion?  Which begs the question, why wasn’t he on the card already?  Sure, the UFC has had problems like this in the past but in only one scenario did it decide to cancel a PPV (While the cynicism in us may say the UFC should have cancelled some more.)  Here, this was Bellator’s big shot.  With the cancellation, it proves that despite the company making strides, it cannot compare to the UFC.

With the PPV cancellation, it begs the question of the Eddie Alvarez situation.  Although Alvarez and Bellator have settled their legal dispute and his current contract has not been released, one has to wonder if Alvarez’s contract included a PPV cut.  And, if so, how does that impact his participation on Spike TV next Saturday.

In contract law, there is something known as a “Force Majeure,” or “Act of God,” which frees a party from liability if a party does not fulfill an obligation in the contract.  In this case, Ortiz having to bow out due to a neck injury does not rise to this level.  Thus, if Alvarez had a PPV clause in his contract, and Bellator moved it to Spike from PPV without compensating Alvarez, we may see lawyers get involved again.  Common examples of a “Force Majeure” would be strike, crime or riot.  Another example would be if an earthquake caused the cancellation of the event.  This paragraph is somewhat half-kidding about an “Act of God” but moving the card off of PPV might impact Alvarez’s pay.  Again, we don’t know but we assume Alvarez was to receive a PPV cut.

Was this the correct move by Bellator? Or, do you think it should have gone forward with the PPV with Alvarez-Chandler headlining?

30 Responses to “Ortiz out, Bellator PPV now on Spike”

  1. aintitthetruth on October 26th, 2013 2:02 AM

    Your usage of begging the question is technically incorrect. although the incorrect usage is used so commonly it has been accepted by some apparently… http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

  2. Anomandar on October 26th, 2013 4:17 AM

    Frankly i personally think it is a joke. It shows that Bellator,as a company,was never ready to put on a PPV. And with the atrocious numbers the UFC is currently doing with their PPV perhaps they should be at more at easy with their position as a television company.

    This does bring the whole Alvarez situation back in the press. Unfortunately for Bellator Alvarez attorneys will pounce on this. I see him walking out now after this Chandler fight.

  3. aintitthetruth on October 26th, 2013 4:40 AM

    In regards to the fight all i can say is “uh oh! Spaghetti o’s!”

  4. asswipe on October 26th, 2013 5:55 AM

    i think they never had the intention of making this a ppv…the fight is next saturday and the ppv wasnt even listed anywhere, tna ppvs are listed months ahead thats kinda suspicious in my opinion..
    i think all this time they had the intention to announce the fight was going to be on tv a week prior
    i always thought the whole ppv was a stunt to get everyone talking and to pull another roy jones on the media

  5. skute on October 26th, 2013 7:39 AM

    in my opinion the Eddie Alvarez fight was more interesting than the Rampage Ortiz bout so they should have kept the PPV with Eddie headlining

  6. Caidel on October 26th, 2013 8:43 AM

    Vegh couldn’t be on the card, because if he was on there, they won’t be able to make Mo vs. Newton rematch for interim title. You really cannot make interim title when champion is fighting same night :] And also Newton is challenger, so only viable way to do Newton vs. Mo is through Veghs hypothetical “injury”.

  7. Jason Cruz on October 26th, 2013 9:34 AM

    @Caidel

    Understood. But, that also brings up the point that Vegh-Bellator had a disagreement whether he was injured and could not be on the PPV (even before this Ortiz situation).

    http://mmapayout.com/2013/09/bellator-responds-to-attila-veghs-claims-he-was-not-hurt/

  8. Caidel on October 26th, 2013 10:30 PM

    Jason: Yeah, I know about that. Hence the “injury” 🙂

  9. BrainSmasher on October 26th, 2013 11:51 PM

    I said back in July that I didn’t trust Bellator or this match up.

    “Disaster! 2 guys who haven’t won a fight or been meaningful in years and they are going to charge people to see it. lol

    Im never one to call fix on legit MMA promotions unless that have a history. But I wouldn’t be surprised here. These guys have trained together for years and are friends. The announcement was very WWE like. Both are greedy attention whores who want to fit in. Bellator is tied to TNA through Viacom. I believe it is already in Jacksons contract to wrestler at some point. Who knows what Tito is up to. I don’t think this will be a worked fight. But there is enough signs to keep your eyes open.”

    We know how Bellator fudges injury info to keep their 205 fighter out of a fight. It is very likely this match was never supposed to happen. Is Tito’s injury real? Im sure it is. But how do we know when he was really hurt? Maybe he was hurt from the start and this was all a publicity stunt? Lets look at the evidence. Tito and Rampage was never a fight anyone wanted to see but both were good at selling themselves. Basically they were great for everything but stepping into the cage and fighting each other. So the best value was to hype them all the way up to a week from the fight before pulling the plug. Both guys are friends and long time training partners. We knew with the Tito-Chuck fiasco that Tito doesn’t want to fight his friends. We saw Tito go through an entire TUF season before he pulled out of his fight with Chuck in the 3rd fight build up. At the very least it is possible Tito knew he was Hurt and maybe Bellator didn’t or maybe both knew. But Tito has no history of going through with these fights. Bellator has a history of lying about medicals.

    Here is pics of Tito training the day before he pulled out of the fight. The website says he showed no signs of being hurt and made no mention of being hurt.

    http://www.fighthubtv.com/photo/tito-ortiz-training-for-rampage-jackson-one-day-before-pulling-out-of-bellator-ppv/

    Finally. Anyone who follows the sport on the technical side, specifically a match maker worth his salt. Can tell you this was going to be a horrible fight. Not just because the age and declining ability of the fighters. But because of their styles. Rampage is a counter puncher. Most people don’t think of him as a counter striker because he walks forward. But he still is a counter striker. He moves forward making you throw so he can slip and counter and compensate for his lack of hand speed. He also doesn’t let his hands go. When he needs to be aggressive and brawl. He cant do it. This is why he couldn’t put Jardine away. Jardine is tough and can take a single shot. But doesn’t recover well. So if you stay on him he goes out. Rampage admitted he couldn’t fight the way he needed to after the fight. He cant make himself do it. It isn’t his style. With that said Tito is technical and has never been KO’ed. Meaning knocked unconscious. He has been stopped by flurries but not knocked out. With his technical striking and ability to take single shots. Rampage would have to flurry on him and make him quit. Which he cant do and has never done. Add to that when friends fight there is no killer instinct and they end up just sparring. There was a 95% chance this fight was going to be 15-25 minutes of them circling each other with nothing happening.

    This fight would have ended any chance Bellator would ever do a PPV again. The night would have ended with everyone pissed off about paying for it.

    From Day one Bellator has botched this event us every way possible. They should have used the name of these fighters to bring fans by them fighting other fighters. Not each other. No one wants to see some compelling match involving these guys. They just want to see them period. Doesn’t matter who they fight. Even though Bellator might not have known Tito was already hurt or pulling his usual scam. I still hold them responsible. They backed two has beens who have had a history of mental issues. Bellator put their lost any credibility to ever give them a pass on their mistakes and the put all their eggs on the back of a mentally unstable side show.

    If there was any regular CEO who made the mistakes Bellator has made. They would be fired. Bjorn better hope he didn’t make these decisions or isn’t made a fall guy.

  10. aintitthetruth on October 27th, 2013 6:42 AM

    I seriously doubt anyone will read that mountain of drivel bs has churned out.

  11. mooseknuckle on October 27th, 2013 12:16 PM

    You lost me at not having a viable plan B to put on a successful PPV. There was clearly never a viable plan A to put on a successful PPV.

  12. Tribute on October 27th, 2013 1:20 PM

    Surprisingly poor use of grammar from aintitthetruth considering their fondness for correcting others.

  13. BrainSmasher on October 27th, 2013 1:42 PM

    The worst part about BFC screwing this up is there was no need to do any of it. Put Rampage and Tito on the PPV in warm up fights. Let the Alvarez/Chandler fight headline and make your belt look credible. Let newton fight the real champ and stop this interim belt non sense. Then put King Mo on the card verses anyone in a contender fight or even a warm up fight. It wouldn’t matter. Now you would have two legit title fights at the top of the card with meaningful match ups. The. You have names like Tito, Rampage, and King Mo to round out the main card. That would be a great PPV. Instead they lied about thief 205 champ to hand pick who they wanted to be champ. Screwed the champ. Lied to fans. Made useless side show fight no one cared to see that now killed the PPv. One of the biggest blunders in MMA history!

  14. aintitthetruth on October 27th, 2013 3:34 PM

    Oooh, you got me! Zuffa shills are coming out of the woodwork. bs is clearly paid a few cents per word per post.

  15. aintitthetruth on October 27th, 2013 3:36 PM

    Uh, ufc is the king of interim title nonsense. barao is the real champ. cruz is mia.

  16. mmaguru on October 27th, 2013 5:28 PM

    Honestly, it saved them a lot of humiliation. Bellator was not going to get anything north of 80-100K buys. It wouldn’t have surprised me if they got less than 80K.

  17. BrainSmasher on October 27th, 2013 9:56 PM

    Agree. This card will not be more exciting and if not for Bellator humiliating themselves this year over and over. I would say this card on Spike would do them more good. But who knows what damage they have done with their stupidity.

    We all knew they were rushing the PPV out when it was announced. There was no reason to not use Tito and Rampage in warm up fights in Spike before trying to shove a PPV down everyone’s throat.

  18. sid on October 27th, 2013 11:07 PM

    Bellator won’t be around in a year. Viacom will quietly axe them and get out of the MMA business.

  19. Diego on October 28th, 2013 6:14 AM

    I agree with mmaguru, they were about to lay an egg, and now they have an excuse to avoid what would have almost certainly been a failure.

  20. Diego on October 28th, 2013 6:18 AM

    I think canceling is the correct move after the incorrect move of trying to do a PPV in the first place. I don’t think their TV ratings are high enough to justify a PPV. The UFC gets much higher ratings for it’s (good) fight cards, and even they struggle to pull in consistent PPVs these days.

  21. Aintitthetruth on October 28th, 2013 9:12 AM

    I was looking forward to Bellator getting the ball rolling; even if it did lay an egg. You have to start somewhere!

  22. Diego on October 28th, 2013 12:20 PM

    It’s true they have to start somewhere, but I just don’t know how much interest there was ever going to be in a Tito-Rampage fight.

  23. mooseknuckle on October 28th, 2013 1:16 PM

    They threw together all the good fights they thought people might pay for and topped it with a shit main event. The rest of the card will be a really good free event, but not better than about half of the free UFC’s. The main event was a terrible piece of desperation. It’s a shame, because they have a few really elite fighters, but looked eager to throw a bunch of money down the toilet.

  24. Jason Cruz on October 28th, 2013 1:28 PM

    @mooseknuckle

    Gotcha. I do think with any event a good organization must have contingency plan. I think especially here where you have two aging fighters with known injury issues, Bellator should have had plans on “what if” scenarios. Thus, making sure you put on some promos for a guy like Vegh so that at least your core audience knows this guy and follows him.

  25. BrainSmasher on October 28th, 2013 2:48 PM

    That’s true Jason. But any good organization wouldn’t have treated Vegh the way Bellator seemed to have done. How could they use him now after creating an interim title and telling everyone he was injured? They killed any chance of using him on this event. Not to mention them throwing their champ under the bus while they tarnish the belt and their reputation.

  26. BrainSmasher on October 28th, 2013 2:59 PM

    Also. Why didn’t they go ahead with the PPV? Taking it off PPV because you lost a gimmick fight while still having all the best fights your promotion can create. Sends the message that Bellator doesn’t have any fights worth paying for. With two title fights and their best match up in Bellator history and all their biggest names. It wasn’t worth keeping on PPV? Two has beens are that important? With all the promotion they wasn’t willing to go ahead and sell Chandler/Alvarez? Sends a really bad message. That is what people wanted to see and further tells me this was canceled due to all signs showing this was going to be an epic failure. It makes me really doubt Tito’s injury.

  27. Jason Cruz on October 28th, 2013 10:41 PM

    @BS I agree with what you say about Vegh. Bellator made a mess of things.

  28. Random Dude on October 28th, 2013 11:00 PM

    Viacom should sell Bellator to Showtime if they are still looking to do MMA.

  29. BrainSmasher on October 29th, 2013 6:06 AM

    Wouldn’t be worth buying Bellator. It is to easy to start fresh in MMA. Taking over Bellator with a higher price tag, the controversy around the brand now, with no fighters of much value. It just wouldn’t be worth it. None of the fighters have proven to be draws and almost everyone of them can be signed for almost nothing. Even their TV deal with Spike adds no value to Showtime. Showtime can throw any moniker out there with Fighting Championship on it. Sign a cheap roster of fighters and pass Bellator within a year. They would just have to make a ccommitment to MMA, which they never have. Seeing as their in deep with boxing. I do t see them ever making that commitment.

  30. Sharkman5000 on October 29th, 2013 12:00 PM

    Back in 2002 I overheard Terry T, King of the Cage owner,
    Go on a long 15 minute rant about how the UFC
    Would be out of business by 2003 and how KoTC would be
    The premier MMA organization in the entire world…
    I say this to illustrate how quickly things can change in this sport
    Bellator is nothing more Than a “b” league production this is the
    Stone cold truth… Watching their events is downright
    Painful. All of the critism heaped on bellator is
    Deserving…. But anything can happen… I mean
    Look where KoTC ended up (hint not at the top or anywhere close)
    You never can tell what might happen? Maybe bellator
    Learns how to brand their fighters, fires their whole production
    Crew and reinvents itself as a viable, watchable
    Mma production capable of PPV cards… Maybe it doesn’t?
    Place your bets now!!!

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