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Bellator Founder to be Replaced

Bellator Founder to be Replaced

Big shakeups on the MMA landscape are looming. According to a report by MMAFighting, Bellator founder Bjorn Rebney is on his way out. His replacement: Strikeforce founder Scott Coker.

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Viacom executives, the majority owner of Bellator MMA, informed Rebney, the founder and CEO of the promotion, earlier this week in New York that they are working towards replacing him with former Strikeforce CEO and founder Scott Coker. Josh Gross first reported the news early Wednesday morning.

The early plan was to announce the move later this week, perhaps as early as Wednesday, however, according to one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “the fight is on.” In other words, Rebney, who founded Bellator in 2007, isn’t ceding control easily.

As the clear number two MMA organization in the world, Bellator has played well the role of top non-UFC option for fans and fighters. But it’s easy to forget that the only reason Bellator is in its number two spot is because Coker’s Strikeforce grew so successful that the UFC bought it and scrapped it for parts.

While it’s far too early to know what changes Coker would bring about to Bellator, it’s safe to assume the we’ll see more “name” fighters and less tournaments.


  • AlphaOmega says:

    Hm.. since he created it I wonder if he can really be fired/replaced so easily

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Coker had the same problems Aflliction and Elite XC did, they put all their eggs in one basket and then when something happened to that basket, they were screwed. Also if Coker stops the tournament format, Bellator is dead within a yr

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Don’t you miss the days when news like this broke and we’d all be posting comments like crazy talking about it..

  • hindsightufuk says:

    Yep I sure miss those days Alpha, damn shame the way this site went down. With regards to Bellator, I already miss the old format. The last season was pretty weak, and it didnt look to be getting any better next time. Maybe this is what Bellator need, I really dont know. I love the tournie format, but it ends up like the mw division where the same fighters keep getting recycled every time, whats the point. I love Bellator, truly, but I want to love it every time I watch it, not have it so that I dont care if I miss one week, which is how I feel thesse days

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I agree, there should be at least 50 comments here as this is huge news. I am a Bellator fan as well and would really love to see the tournament format stay but with regular fights added in. I would love to see some guys like a Ben Saunders who will never win a tourney but always puts on good fights out there. Also hate to see a guy like Chandler have to go through a tourney again.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    It looks like one of the big reasons this happened was their first PPV got 100k buys, Bjorn didn’t want to keep doing PPVs, saying it was mostly a TV oriented show. Viacom said no we want more PPVs, and signed Coker. However, this apparently isn’t new news, I guess Bjorn has been looking for a new job for a few months now, even trying secret back door channels to get in with the UFC.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    My biggest problem though is they are now going head to head with the UFC, something Bellator never did because they had a different product in the tournament format. I think this will kill it, especially since it was Coker who put the offer out to Kimbo, and they are looking at signing Vera now. Bjorn actually didn’t want to sign any of these past UFC fighters that they have recently

  • Angry Mike says:

    If Rebney got the axe because Viacom wanted more ppv’s, he lost the fight but will win the argument. Bellator doesn’t have the depth of talent get big buys.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Exactly, apparently that’s why Coker has said over the next yr he will make it his priority to double if not triple the roster they currently have, and focus on superfights

  • Screenplaya says:

    It seems clear to me that Viacom wants to get in position to be bought out by the UFC. The way they had been going, they could have continued to be successful by not completing directly with the UFC, but now they are probably looking to clone the UFC, build up some names, and sell their roster.


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