Bellator recently announced a fight between two legends of the sport in the light heavyweight division; Quinton Jackson vs Tito Ortiz.
That sentence should usually get people excited but in this case has most people perplexed. Quinton Jackson and Tito Ortiz have a run of losses and haven’t shown anyone a glimpse of their former capability . They’ve come up short against fighters of the new era and have clearly demonstrated their skills haven’t moved with the times. Both have been signed by Bellator and Rampage mainly did this so he could compete in pro wrestling which ties in with his acting and marketable persona. Tito feels after his recent surgery and time away from the sport that he is rejuvenated and can once again perform. The harsh reality is that Ortiz, physically, is finished; numerous operations to his spine do not bode well. He has his own clothing company, gym and manages fighters. He is financially secure with a young family, it’s time to move on from the sport that has provided you success but also it can be a cruel mistress if you hang around.
So, why is second-best best? When you’re Bellator and you’re competing with the UFC, and two former world champions become available as free agents, let’s face it, most promoters would sign them. Promoters make fights to make money. A lot of fans have grumbled that this isn’t a fight they will watch but let’s be honest even if people don’t watch it live, this will attract people to Bellator and certainly as a PR move it’s smart. The problem with this strategy arises when you base the whole company strategy on this whilst ignoring rising talent. Financially this has to pay off for Bjorn Rebney as his outlay for this fight alone will be astronomical. Rampage and Tito both command serious dollar.
In a sport dominated by one organisation, second- best is best for BFC. They provide an alternative and some competition but when you need to try something new to grow your company you may have to try something old!
It’s been emotional.
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