When Bellator heads over to Spike TV in January the organization will implement a number of new things including a reality show and the opportunity for fans to vote on some of the fights they’re interested in seeing unfold. However, no change will be as significant as that to the way Bellator handles title-shots.
According to CEO Bjorn Rebney, he has heard the public outcry for occasional exceptions to the company’s policy regarding contendership and has decided to given in.
“I am proud to announce that driven by your input; we will implement a championship fight rematch clause as we move into 2013 and our launch on Spike in January,” wrote Rebney in a blog on the Bellator website. “When a fighter’s earned a shot at the world title by winning ‘The Toughest Tournament in Sports’ and competes in a title fight that knocks fans like us back in our seats (win or lose) delivering an incredible fight – when a rematch is called for – we will deliver it.”
“Championship fights give us some of the greatest moments in MMA. And, re-matches of incredible championship fights will give fans like us more of those electrifying moments, while staying true to the world’s best fighters having had to earn their way to those title shots,” he concluded.
Previously Bellator had only handed out cracks at the championship to individuals who emerged as the last fighter standing in a division’s respective tournament. While the focus on allowing individuals to secure their own title-shots rather than be awarded them has worked to an extent, it has also eliminated the possibility for rematches in situations involving controversial outcomes (Ben Askren vs. Jay Hieron) or hotly-contested clashes (Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler).
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR