Get ready to watch Bellator MMA and its parent company, Viacom, lose real money on pay-per-view (PPV).
That's according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, of course, who was not impressed when he discussed the mixed martial arts (MMA) organization's bold plans to stage a PPV match between Quinton Jackson and Roy Jones Jr.
But, there is just one problem: Tito Ortiz, not Jones Jr., will will emerge from self-imposed MMA retirement to fight his good friend and former training partner.
That's right, "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" -- who was enshrined in UFC Hall of Fame little more than one year ago -- will appear opposite "Rampage" on the first-ever Bellator PPV, which is planned for Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif., on Nov. 2, 2013.
"Rampage" made the shocking announcement during the Bellator 97 broadcast this evening (July 31, 2013), which emanated from Santa Ana Star Casino in Rio Rancho, N.M., using the rumored boxing match against "Superman" as a decoy prior to introducing Ortiz.
"I'm training hard, I'm motivated. I found my love for MMA again now that I'm with a reputable company that knows how to treat its fighters. It's on! Don't believe everything you read on the Internet -- I don't know how that rumor ever got so big, but, you know, I'm down to fight Roy -- I'm a big fan of his. He's one of the best boxers ... he's the man. I've seen him knockout guys without even using his hands! This time, I'm going to give the fans what they want, my first fight in Bellator I want it to be an MMA fight ... not a boxing match."
Ortiz, who White recently claimed "needed more money,' then walked out of the dressing room in his full get up, music blaring, flag in tow, to declare that he was indeed serious about making a comeback.
"I've fought the best of the best in the world -- I've been fighting for a long, long time. Rampage, too. We've trained with each other, been friends for a long time, but it's time to put the friendship aside. It's about giving the fans what they want, and the best fight possible is going to happen here in Bellator."
Ortiz retired from the sport last year after a unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 148, capping off a putrid 1-7-1 run inside the Octagon, which started after he tied a victorious ribbon around his trilogy against fellow Hall-of-Famer Ken Shamrock in 2006.
He blamed injuries for the slump, while most believed the skills of the former Light Heavyweight champion, 38, simply went south as his age went north. In 28 professional MMA matches throughout his lengthy career, Ortiz has competed just once outside the Octagon.
Make that now twice.
Jackson, meanwhile, was unhappy with the way he was being treated leading up to his final fight inside the Octagon, a unanimous decision loss to Glover Teixeira at the UFC on FOX 6 event earlier this year in Chicago. "Rampage" accused his former employer of lying about PPV earnings and vowed to never compete for UFC again.
He'll now have the opportunity to find out firsthand if Bellator can turn a more honest PPV profit, which may or may not live up to the more than $15 million he tallied in career earnings inside the Octagon during his tumultuous tenure.