Bjorn Rebney: 'Now there are only two'

by Steven Marrocco | source:

Bellator Fighting Championships kicks off its seventh season this week. Officials are excited about the final 12-week run on MTV2, but they're also looking ahead to a move to the larger Spike TV next year.

This season brings an influx of Russian talent thanks to Bellator's continued international expansion. Russian fighters Andrey Koreshkov and Alexander Sarnavskiy boast undefeated records and train with two-time Bellator tourney champ Alexander Shlemenko, who is also Russian. Both fighters have been featured prominently by state-run Russia 2, a new broadcast partner that helps put Bellator programming in 87 countries.

"Russia is going to be the new Brazil for Bellator," said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.

"Bellator has gotten bigger, and the Spike TV alliance and the Viacom acquisition have opened up a lot of doors with us. With the demise of the WECs and Afflictions, and with all the troubles that Strikeforce is having, there are less and less alternatives.

"Now there are only two. There's still a huge number of world-class fighters around the world who are looking for a place with huge television alliances to ply their trade."

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Recent Comments »

Kirik site profile image  

9/30/12 7:38 PM by Kirik

Been about five years, which is a while for this space.

HenryO site profile image  

9/30/12 3:38 PM by HenryO

I don't think HDNet Fights has existed for quite some time

Kirik site profile image  

9/30/12 3:36 PM by Kirik

The crucial factor in the success of the UFC was of course TUF. It will be interesting to see if the formula works internationally. It sure has so far in Brazil.

torquemada site profile image  

9/30/12 3:23 PM by torquemada

To tell the truth, I don't like baseball, but you get my point.

AmblingAlp site profile image  

9/29/12 2:25 PM by AmblingAlp

Bellator is cool but I have two main problems with it: -Its not shown live on the West Coast. -They never have shows on the West Coast.

MMALOGIC site profile image  

9/29/12 2:16 PM by MMALOGIC

Zuffa is producing so many events, fights and content nobody is gonna care or give a crap about bellator... People dont even give a crap about the UFC anymore.  And the events will continue to increase every year. Bellator doesnt have the resources to take full advantage of russia... Zuffa can hold big events there every year - bellator cant even get out of small time casinos.  Zuffa has has already begun signing russians. Bellator has a window though as long as zuffa's distribution strategy in the states is messed up (fuel only in 36m homes, friday night time slots on fx, etc...)  However once and if this is fixed it's gonna be a hammer.

G1GAH3ART site profile image  

9/29/12 12:33 PM by G1GAH3ART

THIS. UFC is the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc. of MMA. There's no two, no three, no four, no whatever. Every other MMA orgs are simply feeder leagues now.Heck, I even heard some guys say "UFC is the best & greatest SPORT on Earth!" That's how mighty the brand is. UFC's own competition is itself.And really, literally EVERY mixed martial arts fighter's dream is to be a UFC fighter and/or UFC champion, one's kidding if he doesn't want to be. WHY ALL THIS? Simply because the best & the greatest fight in the UFC. It's the ultimate proving ground. UFC is the Colosseum in Rome of the modern times.

DamnSevern site profile image  

9/29/12 12:16 PM by DamnSevern

it is   also I was recently in Guate and shocked at how many people knew what the ufc was (thanks to fox deportes)

PrettyBoy site profile image  

9/29/12 12:13 PM by PrettyBoy

That's because baseball is stupid.