It was recently announced that Tito Ortiz had withdrawn from his Nov. 2nd bout scheduled with friend and former training partner Quinton “Rampage” Jackson due to a fractured neck.
Many MMA fans all over the internet are expressing their dismay with Ortiz’s withdrawal just eight days before the fight was scheduled to take place. However, even considering the frustration of many MMA fans, a fractured neck is a very legitimate reason to step out of a fight. Also, this isn’t the first time a main event has been ruined due to a fighter receiving a serious injury.
UFC 85 was without a doubt the most injury plagued fight card in mixed martial arts history.
First, the main event which featured Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio Rua was changed to Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans after Rua blew out his knee. Then, the main event had to be changed again to Matt Hughes vs. Thiago Alves due to Liddell injuring his hamstring. Third, James Irvin was brought in as a replacement for Liddell, but then he was also forced to withdraw after he injured his foot in training. That was the last draw for Evans, as he was pulled out of the fight card altogether. In addition to that entire cluster of disasters, Chris Leben was ineligible to participate in his bout against Michael Bisping due to an outstanding warrant for a probation violation, so Jason Day had to be brought in as his replacement. And it’s not even over, the undercard was also riddled with surprises.
Jonathan Goulet withdrew from his fight, sighting a shortage of training time, and then his opponent, Paul Kelly, also withdrew due to an injured finger. Pride veteran Ryo Chonan broke his rib in training, so Kevin Burns was chosen as his replacement, and then Neil Wain broke his nose and was replaced by Eddie Sanchez. The chaos didn’t even stop there.
At the weigh-ins, Thiago Alves was four pounds overweight. Marcus Davis, despite having an injured shoulder, still fought, but lost. And last but not least, Thales Leites scored an upset victory over Nate Marquardt because of two separate point deductions.
Well there you have it folks. If you’re upset about Ortiz pulling out of his fight with Jackson for Bellator’s November 2nd fight card, just remember, UFC 85 was worse. And besides, this is mixed martial arts; it’s one of the most injury prone sports in the world.