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UnderGround Forums >> Bjorn Rebney: I didn't get into this to be #2


4/10/12 12:59 AM
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Sportsnet.ca conducted an exclusive interview with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney recently that touched on a wide variety of subjects, including how he would fight UFC President Dana White if the two met in the cage.

“I don’t know. That’s a great question,” said Rebney. “My understanding is he’s got a great standup game. My standup game isn’t that great. I’d probably go right back into a pre-production meeting and try to compete where the competition is ripe, which is putting on live events and putting on great TV shows.”

“I think he’s a very charismatic figure who has driven a lot of consumer connectivity to the game. He has a very big personality, which draws a lot of attention to mixed martial arts, which is not a bad thing, and I respect the fact that when he first started doing it and the UFC first started launching in terms of a general market crossover, nobody was listening.

“From what I’ve seen and I’ve never spent any time around him, he looks amazingly driven, hugely focused and he looks to be an amazing fan of the game.”

“There’s no way to survive and be successful in this type of business if you’re anything less than on. We have no off-season. It never stops. You’re constantly marketing and promoting and publicizing, selling and talking. If you’re not pleasantly relentless, not aggressive in pursuit of making it bigger and better and more exciting, need five days off to do this or that, this isn’t the place for you.

"I sleep 4½ hours a night and I’m fine with it. I only sleep that amount of time because there’s a huge amount of stuff I need to get done. I don’t take days off.”

“I’m a fan and I watch some of the UFC shows because there’s great fighters I want to see fight, and then part of it is to track what the competition is doing in terms of their numbers and how people are responding and what they’re doing live-wise and internationally, where their distribution is."

“I used to watch Royce Gracie fight in the UFC. I was one of those freaks who watched Pride events when they were still huge and drawing huge numbers to the Tokyo Dome. It was what I did for fun. I would go to shows in Southern California and I would get together with buddies and drink cheap beer and get pizza and watch the UFC shows, but nobody knew what it was.

“I’d get 100 buddies together to watch football and I’d talk about MMA and there was no true connectivity to the market. Everybody else saw the Ultimate Fighter when it launched on Spike and said, ‘That was kind of cool.’ I was checking the (overnight ratings). The numbers came in and they were huge. I was the only person who wasn’t surprised.”

“I’ve got a lot of respect for what the UFC has done. They’ve accomplished some great things. My anticipation of where we go is pretty large. When I was envisioning this, I never did get into it thinking, ‘I hope we’re number two.’ I don’t think anybody that’s hugely driven gets into any business and says, ‘I just hope we can be number two.’

“Your vision is that you’re going to put all these pieces together and over a period of time you’re going to be competitive with the best that there is, regardless of what you’re doing, and my vision is no different than that.”

Read entire article...


4/10/12 1:02 AM
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Clarence Parents
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I'm a big fan of Bjorn Rebney and the way he runs his business and I think he is doing almost everything right to become a very serious contender in the MMA market.
4/10/12 1:17 AM
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MarlyPersianNoob
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I have no problem with Bellator but doesn't this kind of talk lead to Dana pulling out the tombstone? Phone Post
4/10/12 1:19 AM
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ChaosOverkill
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Funny Sportsnet with a show called UFC connected conducting this interview
4/10/12 1:22 AM
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Clarence Parents
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MarlyPersianNoob - I have no problem with Bellator but doesn't this kind of talk lead to Dana pulling out the tombstone?


With Bjorn Rebney leading the charge and SPIKE providing the network and bankroll.. It's going to be much easier said than done getting Bellator on that tombstone.
4/10/12 1:32 AM
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Shinsplint
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 Get this fucker into politics. With his silver tongue he might be able to prevent the North Koreans from launching that rocket.
4/10/12 3:54 AM
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Macedawgg
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Ahh--because without that, pay to fighters will always be artificially depressed?
4/10/12 3:56 AM
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Mr Bungle
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My question is why do we never see any media members bring up this moron's boxing background. I've only seen a few remarks here and there and have only read one article about how he was basically ran off from the boxing world. I don't buy a word he says. He comes off faker than DFW.

Everyone loves to point out Dana's fault's and past and future mistakes. How about we see some consistency in mma media. But that would never happen, it would require those same fanboy-turned-blogger journalist to actually pick up a pen, a phone, or whatever, and actually do some journalistic work.

TRT is a huge issue right now and most of it is directed towards UFC. Strikeforce fighters are getting popped left and right, yet no one says shit when Bjorn takes his show to the Indian Reservations or to commissions that couldn't come up with a logical and consistent drug testing program if there lives depended on it.

4/10/12 3:59 AM
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Mr Bungle
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RyannVonDoom - 
sickdarce - 
Shinsplint -  Get this fucker into politics. With his silver tongue he might be able to prevent the North Koreans from launching that rocket.
Think his goal is for the UFC to buy him out.


You might be right. There are many who start up orgs just to be bought out by Zuffa.



I thought Viacom bought them out? Why they ever consider selling to Zuffa if they have a big time media conglomerate backing them. They would be better served selling to Zuffa than being owned by the same Co that allowed that abortion called EXC to be their showcase on CBS.
4/10/12 4:57 AM
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un3rgr0und
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There is zero chance that Bellator will be bought by the UFC, why? Because Viacom now owns 10% of Bellator and that means they will not be going bankrupt any time soon.

I think Bellator might actually have staying power, if anything Viacom would have to split ties with them and then and only then could Zuffa purchase Bellator....they would have to be in financial trouble for that to happen but Rebney seems to be a lil like Dana...driven and always working.
4/10/12 7:27 AM
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ken amtrack
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Promoters gonna promote
4/10/12 8:18 AM
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VinnyTheChin
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He has already surpassed Dana White in class and professionalism. Phone Post
4/10/12 8:43 AM
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Old Boxer
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I really enjoy watching bellator. Getting sick of seeing the same recycled fights in UFC. Phone Post
4/10/12 10:04 AM
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liquidrob
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Bellator is great for MMA, tournaments are always the best option

Plus, Bellator has a lot of the best young prospects in the sport
4/10/12 12:30 PM
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liquidrob
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ttt
4/10/12 12:39 PM
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Haulport
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Mr Bungle - 
RyannVonDoom - 
sickdarce - 
Shinsplint -  Get this fucker into politics. With his silver tongue he might be able to prevent the North Koreans from launching that rocket.
Think his goal is for the UFC to buy him out.
You might be right. There are many who start up orgs just to be bought out by Zuffa.
I thought Viacom bought them out? Why they ever consider selling to Zuffa if they have a big time media conglomerate backing them. They would be better served selling to Zuffa than being owned by the same Co that allowed that abortion called EXC to be their showcase on CBS.
Yep. Viacom no owns Bellator - 100% I believe.
4/10/12 12:45 PM
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Chris27
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I think you'd have to question him if he was ok with being 2nd.

Everyones goal should be the best but with that said he is gonna have to settle for second place.
4/10/12 12:49 PM
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Chris27
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grachuss - Why would anyone want to see Bellator get successful enough to challenge the UFC? It would just splinter the fighters again. We already cant see Lombard vs Silva. Why does anyone want more?


Thats the point of the anti Zuffa squad.

I for one agree, I dont care what the org is called I just care about seeing the best fight the best.

Having two orgs splitting the talent isnt good for fans, Bellator isnt even close to that level though, they have good prospects but Zuffa has 80 plus percent of the talent but I dont know what real fan would want the orgs to be 50/50 with talent.

the anti Zuffa fans want it cause they are just against Zuffa but a real fan who just cares about the fights I dont think any would want that.

Would you rather debate on forums who would win fights and who is better or actually see who is better?

But Bellator is a long long ways away from having anything close to the talent level UFC has.

4/10/12 12:50 PM
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Chris27
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Haulport - 
Mr Bungle - 
RyannVonDoom - 
sickdarce - 
Shinsplint -  Get this fucker into politics. With his silver tongue he might be able to prevent the North Koreans from launching that rocket.
Think his goal is for the UFC to buy him out.
You might be right. There are many who start up orgs just to be bought out by Zuffa.
I thought Viacom bought them out? Why they ever consider selling to Zuffa if they have a big time media conglomerate backing them. They would be better served selling to Zuffa than being owned by the same Co that allowed that abortion called EXC to be their showcase on CBS.
Yep. Viacom no owns Bellator - 100% I believe.


Do they own 100 percent? I thought they only bought a controlling interest in the company, like 60 percent or something.

4/10/12 1:40 PM
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MMALOGIC
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 Improbable...

Spike budgeted 35 mil a year for the #1 brand (UFC).... Showtime invested roughly 13 mil a year for SF...  This gives you an idea of what Viacom is gonna earmark for bellator... worse, a network owning a sports property rarely works out.

Zuffa makes more with the Brazilian market than Bellator will make in it's primary market.  It's an uphill battle.  If you cant compete revenue wise you cant compete.

A "bellator" will pop up in every major market to fill the secondary mma demand (cage warriors or whatever in the UK, something in Brazil, Super fight league in India, etc...).  Not a single one will be able to compete with ZUffa.

UFC essentially has a global distribution monopoly, a talent monopoly and a brand monopoly.

The only possible threat left to the UFC is China.
4/10/12 1:46 PM
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Chris27
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MMALOGIC -  Improbable...

Spike budgeted 35 mil a year for the #1 brand (UFC).... Showtime invested roughly 13 mil a year for SF...  This gives you an idea of what Viacom is gonna earmark for bellator... worse, a network owning a sports property rarely works out.

Zuffa makes more with the Brazilian market than Bellator will make in it's primary market.  It's an uphill battle.  If you cant compete revenue wise you cant compete.

A "bellator" will pop up in every major market to fill the secondary mma demand (cage warriors or whatever in the UK, something in Brazil, Super fight league in India, etc...).  Not a single one will be able to compete with ZUffa.

UFC essentially has a global distribution monopoly, a talent monopoly and a brand monopoly.

The only possible threat left to the UFC is China.<br type="_moz" />


But Viacom is sitting on billions.

Its funny when people say that, like they are just gonna throw endless money at Bellator and not make anything back? Like they will just lose money.

Fact is they werent paying 100 mill to the UFC, they can own Bellator, do half the ratings and it will cost them 1/4 of what they would have paid the UFC.

Its cheaper for them.
4/10/12 2:19 PM
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12SixElbow
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un3rgr0und - There is zero chance that Bellator will be bought by the UFC, why? Because Viacom now owns 10% of Bellator and that means they will not be going bankrupt any time soon.

I think Bellator might actually have staying power, if anything Viacom would have to split ties with them and then and only then could Zuffa purchase Bellator....they would have to be in financial trouble for that to happen but Rebney seems to be a lil like Dana...driven and always working.

 Right.
Bellator is selling out venues, and they're on tv.
They aren't paying fighters crazy amounts (sorry tim, no millions here)
But fair amounts.

I think that a lot of guys are going to be made stars there,
and perhaps stay there.
Being a Bellator fighter has a LOT of benefits.

4/10/12 2:27 PM
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Haulport
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MMALOGIC -  Improbable...

Spike budgeted 35 mil a year for the #1 brand (UFC).... Showtime invested roughly 13 mil a year for SF...  This gives you an idea of what Viacom is gonna earmark for bellator... worse, a network owning a sports property rarely works out.

Zuffa makes more with the Brazilian market than Bellator will make in it's primary market.  It's an uphill battle.  If you cant compete revenue wise you cant compete.

A "bellator" will pop up in every major market to fill the secondary mma demand (cage warriors or whatever in the UK, something in Brazil, Super fight league in India, etc...).  Not a single one will be able to compete with ZUffa.

UFC essentially has a global distribution monopoly, a talent monopoly and a brand monopoly.

The only possible threat left to the UFC is China.
I completely disagree. There are PLENTY of cases where the 2nd product overtakes the original. If someone in Bellator get's hot and draws attention to their very solid product then they could become MUCH much bigger overnight. This is how products work. Just ask IBM. One bad decision and a smart competitor...........

I felt that Strikeforce was positioned very well for this but then made a few very bad mistakes and fucked it up. The handling of the HW tourney (should have OPENED with Fedor/Overeem among other things), the use of Mauro/Gus/Frank/Pat, etc. A lot of other fuck ups too. Real bad ones imo.
4/10/12 2:28 PM
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Haulport
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12SixElbow - 
un3rgr0und - There is zero chance that Bellator will be bought by the UFC, why? Because Viacom now owns 10% of Bellator and that means they will not be going bankrupt any time soon.

I think Bellator might actually have staying power, if anything Viacom would have to split ties with them and then and only then could Zuffa purchase Bellator....they would have to be in financial trouble for that to happen but Rebney seems to be a lil like Dana...driven and always working.

 Right.
Bellator is selling out venues, and they're on tv.
They aren't paying fighters crazy amounts (sorry tim, no millions here)
But fair amounts.

I think that a lot of guys are going to be made stars there,
and perhaps stay there.
Being a Bellator fighter has a LOT of benefits.

If they keep their champs out of tourneys though fighting non-title filler fights they are going to fuck themselves though...............
 
4/10/12 2:53 PM
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Chris27
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Haulport - 
MMALOGIC -  Improbable...

Spike budgeted 35 mil a year for the #1 brand (UFC).... Showtime invested roughly 13 mil a year for SF...  This gives you an idea of what Viacom is gonna earmark for bellator... worse, a network owning a sports property rarely works out.

Zuffa makes more with the Brazilian market than Bellator will make in it's primary market.  It's an uphill battle.  If you cant compete revenue wise you cant compete.

A "bellator" will pop up in every major market to fill the secondary mma demand (cage warriors or whatever in the UK, something in Brazil, Super fight league in India, etc...).  Not a single one will be able to compete with ZUffa.

UFC essentially has a global distribution monopoly, a talent monopoly and a brand monopoly.

The only possible threat left to the UFC is China.<br type="_moz" />
I completely disagree. There are PLENTY of cases where the 2nd product overtakes the original. If someone in Bellator get's hot and draws attention to their very solid product then they could become MUCH much bigger overnight. This is how products work. Just ask IBM. One bad decision and a smart competitor...........

I felt that Strikeforce was positioned very well for this but then made a few very bad mistakes and fucked it up. The handling of the HW tourney (should have OPENED with Fedor/Overeem among other things), the use of Mauro/Gus/Frank/Pat, etc. A lot of other fuck ups too. Real bad ones imo.<br type="_moz" />


LOL, SF was positioned to do what?

They werent making money, they had no depth in most divs, how were they positioned very well?

I swear people are so eager for orgs to overtake the UFC I think they only see what they want to see, not the whole picture.

And Bellator is always gonna have one problem, no matter how many prospects they sign when those guys climb the ranks they dont have any big fights for them or fights that can make them stars.

Its what Eddie said, he is stuck in Bellator fighting prospects, guys not ranked but who are good prospects, guys most fans feel he should be easily, if he knocks them out easily he should, if he goes 5 rounds with Curran at LW, Curran is a mid level LW, top FW but not a top LW, he wins that fight but his stock went down.

Then he fights a prospect and loses and now his stock is really down. So he isnt in the big money fights against the top guys in the world, he really has no place to go but down in Bellator.

They will have that with most of their top fighters, when they become champs they are gonna have to fight prospects coming up, that doesnt help them in the rankings, that doesnt make them stars or big draws.

You become a big star or draw by beating top guys and doing it impressively. Or beating a big name draw or legend that can jump start your career.

Bellator doesnt have that, they dont have those established stars to build prospects off of and they dont have many top of the div fighters for their champs to compete against.

FW has a few guys but other than FW what top guys do they have?

0 HW
0 LHW
1 MW Lombard who could leave
2 LW Eddie and Chandler
0 WW, I dont think Askren is there yet
2/3 FW with Curran, Sandro and Pitbull
2 BW, Ueda who lost and will be dropped from the top 10 and Fun Size/Dudu I think winner will be top 10.

But where are all the top ranked challengers? the big names?

There problem is the UFC is already established with the top fighters and the top brand, doesnt matter how good a prospect is people are always gonna say he isnt in the UFC and how woudl he do vs UFC fighters.

Lombard and Eddie want out, soon Askren is gonna be in the same position with no legit threats to him and no way to move up in the mma world.

Chandler will feel that at some point as will Curran and Fun Size/Dudu.

You can only go so far in Bellator before you reach the ceiling.

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