EXCLUSIVE | Joey Beltran Told Manager He Would Replace Tito Ortiz to Fight Rampage | BJPENN.COM Radio
“I told my manager… I’ll fight Rampage,” Joey Beltran told BJPenn.com Radio. After being released from the UFC, Beltran has been looking at his options of where to continue his MMA career. When he heard that Tito Ortiz pulled out of his upcoming Bellator fight against Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Beltran threw his name in the ring as a possible replacement, but to no avail.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Just hours after Bellator announced that its inaugural pay-per-view event had been devastated by an injury to headline fighter, Tito Ortiz, we here at BJPENN.COM were able to chat up Joey Beltran on Friday night’s installment of BJPenn.com Radio. While those two may seem unrelated, it turns out that Beltran had already asked his manager to get him Ortiz’s spot on the main event to face Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson on November 2.
Beltran was recently cut from the UFC following a 1-4-1 run in the organization. That left the light heavyweight fighter talking with several organizations to figure out where he wants to continue his career.
“There’s a couple different offers,” Beltran explained. But when news spread about Tito Ortiz pulling out from the Bellator fight, Beltran said he tried to pursue that option immediately. “I’m not going to lie, I told my manager, ‘Hey, I’ll fight Rampage. I’ll fight him!’”
That would have given Beltran just one week to prepare for Jackson. Ultimately, Bellator decided to scrap the main event and promote its lightweight title fight between Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez to the main event spot. Following the announcement of Ortiz’s injury, Bellator has removed three additional fights from the event.
Where that leaves Beltran, he’s not entirely inclined to tell just yet.
“I’ve got a couple different offers from a couple different organizations,” Beltran said. “It’s not going to take a rocket scientist to figure out what those organizations are, and what we’re going to do is think about what is the best place for me to go out and entertain. But I’ll say this, the people that like watching me fight, you will catch me on television sooner than later.”
But before he jumps to either the World Series of Fighting or Bellator, as he later implied were his two options, Beltran said he has one goal he’ll achieve first.
“I’m going to do a professional boxing fight, because that’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. Growing up, I wanted to be a professional boxer, you know there was no MMA when I was growing up. So I want to do that just to knock another goal off of my list.
“Yeah, man, the future is looking bright, brother, it’s all good man. Everyone’s like, ‘Are you bummed?’ I was like, ‘No, man!’ I made it [to the UFC] twice, what’s going to stop me from going there a third time. If that’s even where I end up, who knows? I could end up going to World Series of Fighting or Bellator and having an awesome, fruitful career. I’m just looking at the future with bright eyes and open arms, ready to take on whatever comes my way.”
You can catch all of Friday’s episode of BJPenn.com Radio right here. Keep an eye out for the second part of this interview where Joey Beltran breaks down his last fight with Fabio Maldonado and discusses his career in the UFC.