Bellator MMA founder, chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney has been busy in recent weeks. He signed Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, scheduling him to fight Tito Ortiz on Pay-Per-View in November. The event will also feature a two-hour preliminary fights on Spike TV.
In addition to the main event, Rebney and Bellator have announced they have come to a settlement with former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, who will finally get his rematch against champion Michael Chandler as the co-main event. Also added to the card is an interim light heavyweight championship match up between “King” Mo Lawal and Emanuel Newton.
Rebney spoke to Fox News Latino about these match-ups and more.
On the Tito Ortiz vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson fight:
“On the Mt. Rushmore of Mixed Martial Arts, Tito Ortiz & Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson are two of the four heads carved out of stone. It was fight for years that I looked and I thought ‘why doesn’t the UFC have Rampage fight Tito?’”
On whether or not Bellator is taking aim at UFC President Dana White:
“Randy [Couture] and Tito and [Rampage] have had a difficult time in the past with the UFC, but that’s not unusual. Those conflicts exist. But it wasn’t a driver behind why we (did this fight) ... The bashing of any organization is not going to move more people to watch another.”
On doing more Pay-Per-View:
“We’ll see. It really depends on how does this one do, how do fans respond and what kind of fights do we get out of it ... Unlike the UFC, our business is not reliant on Pay-Per-View.”
On whether his relationship with Eddie Alvarez is better right now:
“Look… what I would say is he’s an incredibly talented fighter and we’ve got an incredibly meaningful fight that has huge significance to it coming up November 2. And I think that’s really what matters.”
On Ariel Helwani’s report that Alvarez could walk away from Bellator if he loses and that he was obligated to another rematch if he wins:
“As it was a settlement, we’ve kept the terms confidential. So I can’t comment on it ... And if [this fight] is anything close to what the first one was we may do another one. There’s nothing wrong with trilogies in the fight business.”
On Bellator’s relationship with TNA Wrestling:
“I respect the hardcore fans… My job is to build up brands. My job is to build up fighter’s brands ... The bigger I can make [Pat] Curran, the bigger I can make Chandler, the bigger I can make Mo and Rampage and Tito the bigger I can make the brand ... My job is about making those guys bigger stars ... I think MMA fans are smart enough to differentiate. They understand what wrestling is and what MMA is.”
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