Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bellator CEO Brjorn Rebney Close To Announcing TV Deal In Brazil

The world’s current number two (?) mixed martial arts promotion, Bellator Fighting Championship, is set to begin Season Six this Friday night with Bellator 60.
So much of the talent pool for this season comes from Brazil, it’s only natural then that Bellator should look at working out some sort of broadcast deal in the South American country.
Speaking to MMAMania.com, that is exactly what Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney hopes to announce in the next few weeks.
Something that I see you get asked about a lot lately is Brazil. Bellator features a ton of great Brazilian talent. I think you’ve got several tournaments that are almost 50 percent Brazilian fighters coming up and you’ve got a whole bunch of Brazilian title challengers. You’ve mentioned how close you are to a TV deal, how important is it for you guys to break into Brazil?
Bjorn Rebney: Oh it’s huge, it’s absolutely huge. The proliferation of Brazilian talent underneath the Bellator banner speaks directly to who we are as an organization. Our reality is, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, it doesn’t matter what language you speak, all that matters is how well you fight when that cage door locks behind you. You hit it right on the head. Whether you’re talking about the Pitbull brothers or Doug Lima or Eduardo Dantas, the list just goes on and on of the wickedly deep talent pool that we’ve been able to cultivate in and through Brazil so the TV deal is major for us.

I anticipate the announcement, obviously I’m pretty close to it, I anticipate the announcement is literally gonna be in position to happen in the next, probably 10-12 days. It’s something that we’ve been working on with a huge diligence and focus with our partners and we’re super close. It’s incredibly important to this organization. That is a wildly explosive mixed martial arts market and it creates, per capita, many of the greatest fighters in the world so it’s a seminal, seminal territory for us to get in and keep a presence in developing talent out of.
Season Six features tournaments in five different weight classes, including the bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and middleweight divisions.
Brazilians make up no less than twelve of the forty participants of the Season Six tournaments. That may not look like many at first but considering fighters come from all over the world such as the U.S., Britain, France, and Russia once you break the pool down by country you can see what sort of impact they have on the tournament.
In fact, the middleweight tournament itself features four Brazilians fighters of the eight who are set to compete for the $100,000 contract.
As well, Brazilian born fighter Douglas ‘The Phenom’ Lima and Eduardo Dantas are both to challenge for Bellator titles this season, as well heavyweight Thiago Santos is set to rematch Eric Prindle in their re-scheduled Season Five tournament final.
So it’s no wonder the Ultimate Fighting Championship has put so much focus on Brazil which includes the first international “TUF” series as well as their efforts to book a stadium event for the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen rematch.
In the end, it’s nothing but good news for mma fans, fighters, as well as the Bellator promotion.