Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has been featured in an article by CNN Money, in which Rebney discusses the plight of putting together his own MMA promotion and gives a bit of advice to other enterprising people looking to do the same. The CEO recounts how he “feverishly searched for capital and got on every single cheap Southwest flight he could find” to talk with fighters. As well has being as persistent as humanly possible, his pitch 62 times in 14 months, leading up until 2008 when he landed Connecticut hedge fund Plainfield Asset Management as an investor.
Bjorn also recently caught up with Rebellion Media’s own Fighters.com to talk about the current state of Bellator and the coming changes with the move to Spike, including the advent of a new reality series based around fighters.
“When we launch in January, I think you see some very noticeable improvements and changes to what you’ve seen over the last year and a half to two years. We’ve been working simultaneously, literally over the last seven months, preparing for the launch on Spike while also continuing to put out a high-level show on MTV2. So there will be some noticeable changes and improvements and enhancements to the show that we’ve been working on with our partners at Spike, and I think you’ll literally be able to turn on the show and say, ‘Whoa, I can completely see that.’ It won’t be the kind of minor, week-by-week changes and enhancements and adjustments that we’ve been making over the last year and a half. And there have been a lot of them and we’ve been doing a good job doing them. But I think you’ll see a series of new elements to the show and new elements that directly relate to what fans get to see on the TV show that have been well-thought out.
(Reality show) It’s entertaining, but it doesn’t have that typical reality show feel to it. That’s aligned with what we’re about as a company. And I think, when you ultimately get a chance to see the show, it will ring true to a lot of the things that make Bellator Bellator – the competition, the win and move on/lose and go home, the lack of some of the cliché-esqe type of reality things that we see where someone gets voted back on an island. It will be very true to who we are as a company, but it will have some really unique twists and some really interesting storyline developments. Things that I think are going to make for a good show. I’m happy with what we’ve been developing with our partners at Spike and our partners at Profile, and I think we’ve the chance to do something that’s very cool. It will be entertaining for MMA fans and non-MMA fans alike.”