Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney is being forced to deal with both positives and negatives for his growing promotion these days. While the excitement of the upcoming “Summer Series” is always a positive, the legal trouble between the promotion and star lightweight Eddie Alvarez looms over the company no matter what happens. Rebney spoke about the situation with Alvarez and the upcoming events with MMAJunkie Radio.
On the hopes of settling with Alvarez:
“I had hope a month ago there was a door opening,” Rebney said. “But that door isn’t open at this point. So I don’t know. The court system is slow and methodical, and we’re just going through the process. I don’t have any projections of it getting settled at this point because we’re not talking. The essence of it is, the promoter is never going to get everything he wants and the fighter is never going to get everything he wants. We have a position that we did everything right legally, and the court has supported us. I thought we were headed down a road (to resolution), and then everything went real dark.”
The former lightweight champion has been on the shelf since his Bellator 76 victory over Patrick Freire last October. The two sides became embroiled in a legal battle soon after the fight over a clause that allows the promotion to match any offer Alvarez garnered from another promotion. Bellator has asserted they legally matched Alvarez’s offer from the UFC, while the lightweight’s camp has argued the promotion has not matched the deal because the companies cannot compare. Litigation between the two sides will likely continue throughout the coming months.
The news is not all bad for Bellator however, as the promotion is looking ahead to their annual “Summer Series,” which kicks off this June with Bellator 96 in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Rebney was quick to voice his excitement over the upcoming card during his interview, stating:
“It’s a crazy, crazy stacked card coming out of the box,” Rebney said. “It’s great to look at the lineup and be able to put together shows like this one. I’m excited about this one. It’s a great foursome. You know all the guys. Seth has an incredible track record, and he’s pulled off some incredible victories. Mo’s coming back with a huge amount to prove. And ‘Babalu,’ if you’re a fan of MMA, you’ve got to love Babalu. Noe put on an incredible battle for us in the first round (of the Season 8 tournament). It’s a great 4-man setup and we’re going to get from beginning to end of it in a 35-day period.”
Photo Credit: Chris Leslie – MMAFrenzy