'Rampage' Jackson wanted replacement opponent instead of blowing up Bellator pay-per-view

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

On a day personified by confusion, one of the men most effected by the collapse of Bellator's inaugural pay-per-view, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, spawned one more question.

Speaking to the crew on Friday's episode of Inside MMA, Jackson revealed that he wanted Bellator officials to provide a replacement opponent for the injured Tito Ortiz instead of dismantling the fight and moving the card to free TV.

"It's very frustrating right now, honestly thinking about it," Jackson said.

"If I'm going to keep it real, I would have said, 'Look, throw another opponent at me and still keep the pay-per-view because I trained really hard for this.' I had my knees fixed. I just wanted to show the world and the fans that still support me that I'm back. Everybody thought I was done after I lost my fight to Shogun (Rua).

"Throw somebody else in there like Kimbo Slice, Houston Alexander, anybody in Bellator," Jackson continued. "I don't know what's going on. People keep talking about all these different guys, Tyrone Spong -- I don't know his name. Throw anybody in there. I don't care, I'm ready. I'll [fight] anybody. Get Chuck Liddell out of retirement. Put the pay-per-view on."

Earlier in the day, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney indicated that the promotion had been paying light heavyweight champion Atilla Vegh to stay prepared as a backup in case of injury.

Likewise, Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal told MMAFighting.com's Dave Meltzer that he also would have been willing to step in on one week's notice.

"I found out everything today. I told ‘em I'd fight Quinton, too," said Lawal, who's slated to rematch Emanuel Newton for an interim strap on the event's main card. "I think this whole thing is weird."

Regardless of Jackson's wishes, Rebney and Spike TV executives elected to blow up all initial plans, remove the former UFC champion from the card and eat the costs of canceling the pay-per-view a week out from it's air date.

Rebney instead suggested that Jackson will fight on free TV within the next few weeks, likely before Thanksgiving.

"Obviously there have been a lot of moving parts with (Spike TV executive) Kevin (Kay) and I and the team and Spike and Bellator and everybody working together to put this magical show on Spike TV for free," Rebney said. "But don't think that we're not thinking about Rampage. We're hopefully going to be in a position in the next week to make some great announcements on that as well."

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