Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney is a guy who’s not afraid to think outside the box, and one of the ideas he’s on board with has the ring of genius about it.
I like it.
Scratch that, I love it.
The Bellator honcho, known for his fast-and-loose conception of what MMA should be, has been pushing the idea for months but he’s getting no love from Strikeforce for what is surely the most brilliant promotional concept in quite some time.
If you want to run with the big dogs (read the UFC and Zuffa), you have to be willing to climb in the ring, and Scott Coker would do well to sign up for the idea.
Imagine, if you will, a card which includes Gilbert Melendez, Eddie Alvarez, Roger Huerta, Dan Henderson, Hector Lombard and a cast of others. That’s the kind of event which would get any MMA fan foaming at the mouth, and it would serve an additional purpose. It would be a clear announcement that both Strikeforce and Bellator are willing to play on the main stage, and that’s great for the fans, fighters and the sport of MMA in general.
Fighters have known it since the dawn of time immemorial; to be the best, you have to beat the best, and this kind of event wouldl generate the kind of monstrous buzz that has solely been the province of the UFC up until now. The resulting shockwave – should Bellator, Strikeforce and their television partners have the foresight to make it happen – would have repercussions far outside the event itself and would go a long way to taking MMA further into the consciousness of mainstream sports fans.
Eddie Alvarez likes the idea, and he gave Scott Coker a piece of his mind on that topic:
“Scott, It seems as though your lightweight champion keeps on calling me out on every interview and I have no problem with that. I’ve never said anything about the kid and I would never say anything at all. Never even approached anybody about fighting Gilbert Melendez. He just doesn’t shut up, every other interview he’s talking about fighting me ‘Oh I want to fight Eddie Alvarez, I want to fight Eddie Alvarez’ and it really makes me look bad because I see it [the interview] the next day later. So Bjorn says it’s OK, I say it’s OK, Gilbert is telling the world that he wants to fight me. I assume you’re the only one left to agree.”
Coker did at least have a non-answer answer for Alvarez here.
MiddleEasy.com tracked Rebney down at Bellator 29, and as always, Rebney was forthright and damn interesting: