Bellator MMA is widely considered to be the #2 promotion in mixed martial arts behind the UFC. However, World Series of Fighting is pointedly and repeatedly hammering Bellator. The kind of pre fight trash talk that builds interest in fights is now spilling over into a company vs. company rivalry.
First WSoF challenged Bellator to a fighter vs. fighter event, on PPV, winner take all.
Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney responded during a recent media conference call.
"I understand the media likes to talk about this stuff and have fun with it," said Rebney as transcribed by MMAMania. "But the light heavyweight tournament announced today is the most competitive we've ever done. We're bringing a 100-percent healthy Rampage Jackson into a tournament. We're in 140 countries around the world and growing. We announced the FOX alliance, giving us the biggest distribution in Latin America when it comes to MMA. We've got the biggest distribution in the Middle East when it comes to MMA. We're on Spike TV, who wrote the book on distribution of MMA. I'm focused on our business. I'm not focused on call outs."
WSoF matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz was quick to respond, via Twitter.
Ali Abdelaziz @AliAbdelaziz00
•Bjorn Rebney turned down our challenge. He doesn't believe in his fighters and now he wants to distract everyone talking about GSP. CANDYASS
•For the record GSP is my training partner and very great friend for 9 years. It is embarrassing how Bjorn is using his name as a scapegoat.
In another episode, when Bellator announced that the organization's featherweight champion Daniel Straus will fight former champion Pat Curran at Bellator 112, rather than two-time tournament winner Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, WSoF offered him a title shot in their oganization.
Now WSoF's Abdel-Aziz said Bellator is rife with mismatches.
"I sit down at midnight every night, and I watch a lot of videos. I'm a big fan," Abdel-Aziz told Bleacher Report. "I love this. It's never too much, it never makes me tired...I believe every match we've put on so far has been great except two matches, which, for seven shows, is pretty good."
"The UFC puts on great matches, but you see the guys in Bellator, they put on mismatches all the time. It's ridiculous. There's no entertainment. You see guys go and knock somebody out—there's no competition, and we have to put on equal competition."
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