Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney Still Negotiating To Re-Sign Middleweight Champ Hector Lombard

Middleweight fighter Hector Lombard (31-2-1, 1NC) and the Bellator Fighting Championship promotion still have not reached a deal to re-sign the 185-lbs champion according to company CEO Bjorn Rebney.
Lombard is the promotions first middleweight champ and is supposed to defend the title for a second time in a rematch with Alexander Shlemenko who won his second tournament to fight for the title.
In a recent interview with, Rebney had nothing but praise for the fighter who is on an incredible twenty-five bout undefeated streak, saying that the two sides have yet to reach an agreement but if Lombard does opt out Bellator still has the right to match any offers.
Alexander Shlemenko came out with a video blog a couple days ago saying he was frustrated with the Hector Lombard situation and he doesn’t think that the fight’ seven gonna be made this spring. There was some talk that Lombard’s contract ran out and you guys are in a negotiating period. I was wondering what your thoughts are on that whole situation and what’s going on right now.
Bjorn Rebney: Well, Hector remains our champion right now. We are in the midst of a pretty substantial negotiation relative to his future with the organization. I’ve said many times I think he’s the best middleweight in mixed martial arts so it’s not an easy negotiation by any stretch of the imagination. Alexander Shlemenko, who has earned the right to face our champion, has been prepping for that fight for over a year, has been to a certain extent caught in the crossfire and he’s not the beneficiary of these negotiations.
We’re in a state now where we’ve got to negotiate with Hector and potentially resign him. People forget, Hector Lombard and Ed Alvarez have been with this organization now for four years so you lose track of it because our initial distribution platform was ESPN Deportes and Fox Sports Net and it’s been a long build up but Ed and Hector have been with us from the very start. You know, all good things come to an end at some point and four years is a very long time on any kind of agreement.
We’ve got the right to match on any deal. We’re either gonna sign him before he goes out to the marketplace or he’s going to go out to the marketplace and we’re gonna have a determination as to whether we’re gonna match or not match and we’re gonna see where it ends up. I love the guy and he’s an awesome talent. He’s been nothing but a pure pleasure for me to work with. He’s been a great guy for me to work with and he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do and every time I’ve put him in a cage, he’s knocked people silly. You can’t really ask for more than that from a guy.
It would certainly be a blow to Bellator to lose such a dominant champion in Lombard, but fans could certainly expect that if he doesn’t re-sign with the Chicago based promotion that a trip to the Octagon would likely be in the Cuban-Australian’s future.