Monday, 02/17/2014, 03:56 pm

Bellator Not Stopping At Melendez: ‘We’re Going After Everybody’ Says Rebney

There’s a new player in the MMA world of promoting and they are no longer being shy about their long-term goals and ambitions.

The Viacom owned Bellator promotion recently snagged up their latest UFC star in the form of the highly ranked lightweight fighting machine, Gilbert Melendez.

While the UFC still has rights to match and retain the services of Gilbert, Bellator already has a storied ability to successfully acquire UFC talent. The California based promotion has acquired Rampage Jackson, Cheick Kongo, Joey Beltran and several other UFC notables over the course of their brief existence in the game.

They also took over the UFC’s former broadcasting home over at SPIKE TV.

With a virtually unlimited funding source, the promotion could realistically pose a threat to the UFC’s contract negotiations when dealing with free-agency. The UFC has built an almost notorious reputation for undercutting their roster’s pay, but as each fighter’s contract expires, Bellator could theoretically start snatching everyone up with the lure of fatter paydays.

Bellator boss, Bjorn Rebney just gave Dave Meltzer a glimpse at their future plans going forward.

Here’s a snip:

Rebney indicated this (The signing of a UFC star like Melendez) wouldn’t be the last time something like this would happen . He noted they are going to aggressively go after the best fighters when they are legally allowed to, and said they are in talks with name talent right now.

“Some of them you’d know by first name alone, and some are guys you’ve never heard of who will become the next Michael Chandler, Daniel Straus, Eddie Alvarez and Eduardo Dantas.”

Bellator will open its weekly Friday night live card schedule on Spike TV starting on Feb. 28, run though May, do monthly shows in the summer, and have a fall season of weekly shows from September through November. Rebney noted it’s going to be all out from now until he sits down to eat Thanksgiving dinner.

“We’re gong to continue to sign the best fighters, whether they are from a favela in Brazil, the frozen tundra of Siberia, or they are fighting in the UFC,” he said. “That’s the mission. The fighters are the ones fueling pay-per-view buys or fueling cable television ratings. You’re not fueling ratings by promoting Bjorn or Bellator. Promoting the fighters should be first and foremost.

“We’re going after everybody, more-and-more often. I think there’s a bigger picture issue. The biggest thing is there are two major players in MMA. It’s far and away better for the fighters. When a fighter has one option, he has no power at the negotiating table. But when he has two options, the fighter has all the negotiating power. That’s actually counter intuitive, coming from the CEO of a fight company. But that’s the truth. And my checkbook may take a shot because of it. But if the fighters can earn what they feel they deserve, overall we and the sport will be in a better place. You’re going to see much more of this as we move forward, guys coming from the smallest regions where we find undiscovered talent, to the superstars from the UFC and other guys we find in the United States.”


0 Responses to “Bellator Not Stopping At Melendez: ‘We’re Going After Everybody’ Says Rebney”

  1. Sasquatch says:

    Good.. maybe those poor buggers will get paid their worth!

  2. magoo says:

    I hope you do Rebney, the Fertittas got deep pockets. Plus it’s awesome to see Dana come unglued and lose his shit….lol

  3. Christian says:

    You’re using the words “took over” when in reality, Bellator is receiving hand-me-downs.

  4. Landon says:

    Its all ran by the same guy just like wwe and tna by the same. Its controversy thats what people want dont believe me do some research

  5. team backfist says:

    Love his attitude.

  6. richard duncan says:

    if bellator is a better ran company ,fighters like Jackson,kongo,beltran,and now gil all former ufc fighters.they will see which company is for the fighters and which one is for themselves.they inturn will tell the ufc fighters whether or not bellator is better and whether or not they should cross over. it can happen, it might happen.

  7. Brownpride323 says:

    Fuck dana. I lost all love for the Ufc after they bought and killed strikeforce. dana is the worse thing to happen to MMA

  8. Jon says:

    Get the Stockton bad boy

  9. bubbagum says:

    Go get Diaz…love it…pay them more…

  10. UFC 84 Forever says:

    Bellator will never be able to compete. We’ve seen it time and time again, it doesn’t matter how many good fighters you have or how awesome your organization is, the UFC will find a way to trounce you, or if it can’t, then Zuffa will just buy you out. Viacom will only support you as long as they feel they’re making money off of it, if Zuffa walks up with a big enough check they’ll gladly sell it all. Having said that I would still love some competition against the ultimate monopoly championship.

  11. Gargoyle Wrestling says:

    All you tools posting based on your weird hatred for the best thing that ever happened to mma with the UFC. If it weren’t for Zuffa, NONE of your heroes would be millionaires or even have a forum to ever make the money they are making. Do any of you tools have any idea of the sleazeball tactics Rebney uses? Have you forgotten the screwing they gave Alvarez. Stealing money from him to keep him captured? Have you ever seen a local show and know what people make? The infantile whining about the UFC is a symptom of immature inferiority complexes.

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