With the passing of Kimbo Slice, rumors are swirling that Tito Ortiz is set to replace him to fight against James Thompson for Bellator 158, which is set next month at the O2 Arena in London.
Ortiz, 41, has given his statement about the rumors and confirmed the reports that he was offered as the late replacement to Kimbo Slice. Ortiz declined the offer and stated that he is out of shape and with the fight set in four weeks time, it would not be enough for him to train and prepare for the fight.
“#fighterproblems Being out of shape and get offered to fight in 4 weeks,” Ortiz posted on his Twitter account but was later deleted.
Kimbo Slice passed away Monday and was set to meet Thompson next month. Event promoter Paul Hennessey told MMA Latest News that the event will still push through and they are calling all possible candidates who could be the late replacement for Kimbo Slice. He added that they will not for sure let Kimbo Slice’s son, Kevin Ferguson, Jr. to meet Thompson.
“We are approaching all the top Bellator stars available to come in as a late replacement. We understand the circumstances of coming in as a late replacement are difficult. Liam McGeary will not be approached due to his knee injury,” Hennessey said.
He added that they were not informed of the true cause of death of Kimbo Slice as only the immediate family were called in and informed of the situation. Hennessey further stated that they will make the necessary adjustment if needed, but the event in London is still a “go.”
Aside from looking for a late replacement for Kimbo Slice, Hennessey also spoke briefly about Douglas Lima coming in as a replacement for the injured Josh Koscheck, who will meet Paul Daley.
Hennessey further stated that they will release follow-up information about the replacement for the main event as Ortiz is not available as well.
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