(Our favorite moment? The six seconds of lead-in music that was apparently played on a phonograph. Bellator truly spared no expense.)
We don’t mean to keep hating on Bellator’s Rampage Jackson/Tito Ortiz/MMA/TNA clusterfuck, but literally everything about this matchup has been equal parts humiliating and downright laughable from the get-go. A botched head fake to cap off a horrendously overdramatized staredown? Check. Straight up goofy forays into the world of pro wrasslin’? Oh, BellaTNAor’s got that in spades.
Which brings us to today’s press conference, an hour-long suckfest in which Bjorn Rebney dutifully tried to convince us that he was both a tried and true MMA fan and honestly excited about the prospect of watching the two half-asleep gentlemen sitting on either side of him fight in the near future. He tried, dammit.
Being that your time is way too valuable to spend an hour of it watching Rebney stroke two former champions egos to full completion while they both push their newfound love of the sport on us like a Ronco Rotisserie, we’ve recapped some most notable moments from yesterday’s press conference after the jump.
Perhaps the most earnest moments from the Jackson vs. Ortiz press conference (or at least attempts at being earnest) came from that of Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, who really, truly wanted to convince us that he was just as diehard an MMA fan as the rest of us. At one point during the aforementioned suckfest, he discussed Rampage vs. Liddell 2 down to the exact second that Rampage KO’d “The Iceman,” as if he didn’t just look that stat up two minutes before the press conference began. We get it, Bjorn, you’re just one of the guys. But you’re starting to sound like Lois Griffin on the softball field.
Maybe it was jet lag, maybe everyone involved had just rolled out of bed, but the utter lack of energy or anything resembling enthusiasm was noticeable from the very start of this press conference. “I’m really excited to be fighting for…uhh…Bellator,” started Ortiz (to be fair, at least he got the promotion’s name right). “I got an offer I couldn’t refuse,” he continued, which is odd considering that Ortiz has been discussing his un-retirement from pretty much the exact moment that he retired.
Jackson, on the other hand, sounded about as lethargic as he did when we forced Danga to talk to him about smartphone apps. He repeatedly stated how upset he was that his previously rumored fight with Roy Jones Jr. was off and alluded that the reason he agreed to fight Tito was because Bellator “made his dream come true of being a pro wrestler.” I really don’t know what world I am living in anymore, but I fucking hate it.
CagePotato Bans Violated: At Least 4
Whether it was Tito discussing his unretirement, his past personal troubles, blaming injuries for his recent performances (he’s FINALLY healthy, you guys!) or Rampage’s declaration that he is “working on a lot of old skills that I forgot about,” CagePotato bans were being treated with less respect than a Florida bus driver. A truly defining moment came when Ortiz dropped this little nugget of wisdom:
“The way to be great again is not to fight chumps.”
While this is undoubtedly true, it also does not apply in any way, shape or form to the career of Ortiz. In fact, the only “chump” you could argue that Tito has fought in the past ten years was Ken Shamrock (twice) back in 2006. You know, back when Tito was winning.
Rampage Jackson’s Reasons for Moving His Training Camp to Mexico
Moments after describing “how serious” he was about his comeback, Jackson told reporters that he would be moving the latter half of his training camp to Rosarito, Mexico. When asked why he would be doing that and whether or not there was someone down there he planned on training with, Jackson gave the following response:
I like Mexico. I bring whoever I want to come train anywhere in the world with me…this time I chose Rosarito, Mexico. It’s right on the beach. The people are really nice. They got quads you can ride right on the beach, right on the street. There’s senoritas walking around. They got burritos everywhere and taco stands. I’m trying to learn my Spanish.
I like Mexico. I got a condo right on the beach. I can look out the window butt naked and look at the ocean and nobody can see me…I can do a little penis smack, pap, pap, pap.
It’s just good to know that all of Mike Dolce’s hard work has paid off. Where the old, careless Rampage would just hide candy bars under his bed, the new, focused Rampage will be stuffing entire gorditas and taco supremes into his pillowcase each night. Progress!
As for Jackson’s next training camp? You guessed it, Passages Malibu.
Bellator is *the* Promotion to Bring MMA Out of the Dark Ages
For every compliment Rebney threw Jackson’s or Ortiz’s way, the two former champions returned the favor tenfold. It could not have sounded any less authentic.
“They’re not about the brand, they’re about making stars!” chimed in Ortiz, obviously referring to bang-up job Bellator has done in making Michael Chandler, Attila Vegh, Ben Askren, Alexander Shlemenko, Pat Curran, and Eduardo Dantas the household names that they are today.
Tito Ortiz is Still Bitter Over the Third Griffin Fight
Stating almost verbatim what we’ve been hearing since the moment he retired, Ortiz made sure to inform us once again that he dropped Forrest Griffin twice and took him down four times yet somehow lost a decision at UFC 148. TRAVESTY, THY NAME IS PEOPLES. Also, Ortiz uses the phrase “like no other”a lot (you might say he uses it like no other). He entertains like no other, he fights like no other, he is even in a better mental place like no other. Sorry Tito, but Deepak Chopra you are not.
Ortiz’s Response to the Rumor (specifically and hysterically made public by Stephan Bonnar) That He is Broke and Only Fighting Again for Money :
Ortiz: “How do you feed your children or your family?”
Reporter: “Well, yeah, you gotta get paid.”
Ortiz: “OK, well, mysthethatsthe…that’s really not a problem, my kids are going to get paid either way (?). I was smart enough to save my money. I mean, I invest. And the biggest thing that you can invest that some people, they don’t make much of, it’s called land. And I own a lot of it.”
Other notable quotes/moments:
(33:25) “I’m putting my poker face on and Rampage better shuffle the right cards.” – Tito Ortiz.
(55:40) - ”I don’t know, I guess if you poke the pitbull so many times…” -Tito Ortiz, who was mercifully cut off by a technical issue before he could finish murdering another common euphemism.
(56:19) - Rampage getting so bored by Tito’s self-inflated yammering that he fakes throwing what appears to be a CD case at a reporter. If only Bjorn had provided straws and paper, we could have seen Page hawk a spitball at Tito’s monstrous dome.
-Rampage asking if he can fight Darrill “Titties” Schoonover on pay-per-view in the future. We’d LOVE to see this fight, but only with the stipulation that Titties gets trounced by Aleksander Emelianenko in August. Otherwise, pairing a heavyweight on a four-fight win streak against a light heavyweight on a three (or possibly four) fight losing streak would just be cruel and unfair.