By Zach Arnold | July 31, 2013
Tito Ortiz vs. Rampage Jackson. Bellator PPV. November 2nd. Long Beach, California at LB Arena. Not a lot of time to promote the event and get the ground game going for promotion, even with Viacom’s resources.
— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) August 1, 2013
The good news is that we won’t see RJJ destroy Rampage in a boxing fight. Additionally, the fight should draw a pretty decent gate in California. Right location to draw a crowd that will be interested and sympathetic to both fighters.
Anyone else notice Bellator didn't list a price for Rampage vs. Tito? Curious to see if they dip below the $44.95 price tag. They should.
— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) August 1, 2013
I am not sure what the price point would be. I’m thinking $30 is about right. Over/under -> 75,000 PPV buys. I’ll say barely over that benchmark. Anything over 85,000 PPV buys would be gravy.
There was quite a bit of mockery of the Tito/Rampage fight announcement. It was interesting to watch the rather mild response of the Bellator crowd in Albuquerque to Tito Ortiz’s ring entrance with the US flag. Naturally, Viacom & Spike love established names instead of building stars.
Rampage v Tito is our Hogan v Sting so get bent MMA media, I'm going all out on the popcorn and Sour Patch Kids.
— Ryan Loco (@RyanLoco) August 1, 2013
Who will be next? Ken Shamrock?
There are only 8 fighters in the #UFC Hall of Fame, and now 2 of them work for the competition. Who will be the next guy to go to Viacom?
— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) August 1, 2013
At the Albuquerque event on Wendesday night, Michael Chandler and Ben Askren toyed with their respective opponents and retained their belts. Chandler is going nowhere given his new contract with Bellator. Will Chandler get an opportunity to fight Eddie Alvarez again?
Eddie Alvarez will settle, get on the PPV, the PPV TANKS, and then Eddie's case is proven, but it's too late for him to capitalize. #Morbid
— Rich Hansen (@MMATorchRich) August 1, 2013
The inimitable Rich Hansen brings up the obvious. Eddie Alvarez doesn’t have the cash to keep fighting Viacom in court. His one route of trying to break out of his Bellator contract without spending significant cash would be to file a motion with the California State Athletic Commission to try to get an arbitration hearing with Andy Foster. Bellator is now a California-based promoter, so this would seem to be (on paper) a viable option for challenge. The problem is that the Executive Officer wants business in California and Bellator is a key player for live events in the state. The Long Beach show means $ for Sacramento. I don’t see how the commission would have the heart to side with Alvarez over Bellator.
A settlement that would make sense for all parties involved would be to reach some sort of cold peace, give Alvarez an immediate match with Chandler and book that fight as the semi-main event of the November 2nd PPV in Long Beach. This is something that would actually make sense for Andy Foster to try to push to both Bellator and Alvarez. It would be in everyone’s best business interests to do so.
Ben Askren has no fights left under his Bellator deal? Does Viacom want to keep him? Jury has to be out.
— Matthew Roth (@MattRoth512) August 1, 2013
Unlike Michael Chandler, Ben Askren now is technically a free agent. However, the reported & alleged nature of the Bellator boxing-style contracts with options upon options will make it more difficult to break away from the promotion. As for Matt’s question about whether or not UFC would want to sign Askren, my feeling is they would do it — simply to screw with Viacom and take away the best fighter they have. Askren’s fight style will not appeal to the UFC fan base but if signing him away from Bellator causes significant damage, Dana will make it happen.
Exit question: Other than some glorified camera time & press mentions, what exactly did Roy Jones get out of the fawning from both Viacom and the UFC?
Exit question II: How much pressure will there be on Andy Foster to allow Rampage to use testosterone? DCA lawyer Michael Santiago recently said no new testosterone hall passes. With money on the line, who will blink?