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Tag: Toughest Tournament in Sports

Bellator’s New Tournament Rules Are Pretty Simple Until You Try to Explain Them


(Bjorn Rebney: The Art Jimmerson of MMA promoters.)

Bellator announced some changes to its title-contender structure today, and I’m going to do my best to summarize them in one sentence: Basically, if you win a Bellator tournament and receive a title shot, you no longer have to win another tournament in order to get another title shot. Which is weird, because didn’t they already kill that rule a long time ago? I mean, how else did Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler 2 and 3 get booked? I can think of several instances where Bellator’s vow that “title shots are earned, not given” hasn’t meant a whole lot.

So that’s the short version. Now read the press release that they actually sent out and get the Excedrin ready:

All Bellator Tournament Winners Now In World Title Shot Pool

Newport Beach, Calif. (June 12, 2014) – With Bellator’s 2014 Summer Series having just begun last Friday, Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney announced today that the promotion has made an addition to its real sport, tournament based* format that allows former Bellator Tournament winners the potential to be granted a World Title fight without going back into The Toughest Tournament in Sports.**

“Just like we’ve done since day one, any fighter who wins The Toughest Tournament in Sports will still be guaranteed a World Title*** fight,” Rebney said. “The addition I’m making here, that I’m really excited about, is if you’ve won a tournament, you’ll join an elite group of athletes who we can grant a world title fight to at any time.”

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Bjorn Rebney Speaks Out on Randy Couture, Eddie Alvarez, And the Real ‘Toughest Tournament in Sports’


(Red rover, red rover, we call Captain America on over! Pic Props: MMAFighting.com)

By Jason Moles

Between preparing to launch a new mixed martial arts reality television show on Spike TV, to selecting venues for 2014, Bjorn Rebney‘s time for small talk is sparse. But the Bellator MMA CEO always seems to have a moment to discuss his favorite topic — how much he loves running the second-largest MMA promotion in the world, and what the future holds in store.

Early Friday morning, just after the Bellator 87 post-fight press conference concluded at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in frigid Mount Pleasant, Michigan, I had the opportunity to speak with Rebney about some of the important topics that have developed in the past few weeks, and the impact they would have going forward for the ever-expanding fight promotion.

You could tell the man was tired by the look in his sleep-deprived eyes. Sitting on stage, and probably still laughing on the inside after having watched lightweight contender Lloyd “Cupcake” Woodard shave his facial hair after losing a stipulation match to David “Caveman” Rickels not more than five minutes prior to our conversation (the clippings were still on the table next to him), the most powerful man in the building finally had a fleeting moment to collect his thoughts while resting for the first time that day…

On Randy Couture Signing with Spike TV/Bellator:

“Randy’s a great addition to the team and is known to fans everywhere. We’re excited for the role he’ll play in helping Bellator reach the next level. I know you and the other media want more info than that, but wait until Tuesday [February 5th] — that’s when we’re holding the big press conference and that’s when you’ll have all the details of what’s going on. That’s when all the questions will be answered.”

On the Controversial Stoppages Earlier in the Night:

“I have an unfair advantage; we’ve got probably the best sound team in all of MMA production. What I’m able to do is, when there’s any kind of controversial stoppage, I can go back into the truck, super slo-mo things and listen to things. I can hear the things the fighters say because our sound design inside the cage is so spectacular. You can literally hear what the fighter’s saying and what the referee is saying — you can hear everything. I think they were great stoppages. I think Dan [Mirgliotta] did an amazing job and when you see it in slow motion, for example on the knee lock, you hear him scream and then see his head go back and ultimately see one tap. Now it’s a super soft tap, but you see it. Inside the truck, in super slo-mo, you can hear the screaming and see his head go back and that’s a verbal submission. According to the Unified Rules, when your head goes back and you scream out — it’s over whether you tap or you don’t tap. But I thought he did a great job.”

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