(Rebney’s thinning patience with Coker showed in this recent Twitter posting.)
By CagePotato contributor S.C. Michaelson
CHICAGO — With the recent announcement from Strikeforce that it will put on a 2011 heavyweight grand prix tournament, the MMA community has been abuzz with excitement and intrigue. Many analysts predict that a successful tournament could be the catalyst to Strikeforce becoming more of a major player in today’s market. However, not everyone is as excited about the prospect of the proposed tournament — enter Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.
"Tournament schmurnament," spat Rebney. "Hello, does anybody remember what Bellator is? Our whole company is based around tournaments. Hell, we just had a heavyweight tournament last year!"
Rebney is referring to the 2010 Bellator Fighting Championships Heavyweight Tournament won by teammate of former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, Cole Konrad. A two-time NCAA champion, Conrad bowled through the opposition during the tournament winning by a first-round keylock against Neil Grove.
"Konrad used to beat up Cain [Velasquez] and he’s the so-called number one fighter in the world," said Rebney. "That must count for something."
The Bellator CEO doesn’t hold his tongue when it comes to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, the true target of his ire.
"First he doesn’t return my calls," states Rebney, referring to an incident from fall 2010 where Rebney claimed to have contacted Coker in regards to co-promotion. "He doesn’t return my calls and now he steals my f*cking idea and everyone bends over to give him props."
Rebney’s biggest bone of contention is the disparity of coverage between Strikeforce’s and Bellator’s tournaments.
"Why does Coker get everything?" exclaimed Rebney. "Coker, Coker, Coker."
After Bellator failed to get on the FX network – settling instead for MTV3 following repeat episodes of Daria – they’ll go to almost any lengths to garner attention for the fledgling promotion. A rumor has recently started to circulate involving Bjorn Rebney and an afro wig.
*Editor’s note: This story may or may not be a figment of Mr. Michaelson’s active imagination.