The buildup to Bellator MMA’s first pay-per-view card will begin in earnest on Monday.
That’s when headliners Quinton Jackson (32-11 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and Tito Ortiz (16-11-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will spend a full day doing appearances on the ESPN all-sports cable network, promotion officials confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com)
“Rampage” and Ortiz, a pair of former training partners and ex-UFC light heavyweight champions, will be fighting for Bellator for the first time. The pay-per-view, set for Nov. 2 at Long Beach Arena in California, also features a lightweight title rematch between champion Michael Chandler and former champ Eddie Alvarez.
Jackson and Ortiz will appear throughout the day on ESPN programs such as “SportsCenter,” as well as “First Take, a debate-style show hosted by Cari Champion featuring Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith.
Jackson signed with Bellator in June, and while he has yet to fight for the MMA promotion, he has been making appearances for TNA Impact! Wrestling, also owned by Viacom and airing on Spike TV.
In July, in a surprise announcement, Jackson announced at Bellator 97 that his first fight for the promotion would be against Ortiz on the pay-per-view, at which point Ortiz came out to meet “Rampage” in the cage for the announcement.
Jackson left the UFC following a loss to Glover Teixeira in January. Ortiz retired following his loss toForrest Griffin at UFC 148 in July 2012, but hinted at a comeback in the days leading up to the Bellator announcement.