Bjorn Rebney Announces Championship Fight Rematch Clause Coming to Bellator
By FCF Staff
With just a few weeks remaining until Bellator moves over to its new broadcasting home on SPIKE, the promotion’s chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney, has announced that championship fight rematches will be a possibility for the first time.
The tournament format, which is the promotional foundation for Bellator, will remain in 2013; however, some fighters will receive an opportunity to fight for the title again, without having to go through another competition. In an open letter Rebney posted on the Bellator site, the promotion’s executive revealed:
I am proud to announce that driven by your input; we will implement a championship fight rematch clause as we move into 2013 and our launch on Spike in January. When a fighter’s earned a shot at the world title by winning The Toughest Tournament in Sports and competes in a title fight that knocks fans like us back in our seats (win or lose) delivering an incredible fight, when a rematch is called for, we will deliver it. Championship fights give us some of the greatest moments in MMA. And, re-matches of incredible championship fights will give fans like us more of those electrifying moments, while staying true to the world’s best fighters having had to earn their way to those title shots.
To date, much of the Bellator brand has been built on its motto that “title shots are earned, not given” via its tournament format. While as a result, one can’t argue that a fighter talked their way into a title shot or number one contender position, some observers have wondered whether the rigorous format could be costing the promotion high profile opportunities.
For example, following his loss to Michael Chandler in 2011, which was one of the year’s top fights, Eddie Alvarez had just two fights left on his Bellator deal and did not enter into another competition. While the highly regarded fighter went on to score wins over Patricky Friere and Shinya Aoki, Alvarez is currently a free agent and is considering various offers.
Rebney concluded the letter by saying:
Our focus is to constantly improve our televised and live events for you each and every week. A large part of making things better is listening to the people who make this all possible and adapting what we do to give you the very best we can. We’re committed to doing this as we move to our new home on Spike and the next step in our evolution.
We’ve got amazing tournaments, world title fights, specials and reality series coming your way in 2013!
Bellator’s next event takes place this Friday, November 30th in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and will feature a welterweight tourney championship bout between Lyman Good and Andrey Koreshkov.