Dana White: “Bjorn Rebney’s a scumbag.”

Dana White: “Bjorn Rebney’s a scumbag.”

It looks like the battle between Bellator and the UFC is officially underway. Though UFC President Dana White has had plenty of nice things to say about the up-and-coming promotion in the past, his opinion apparently changed in the wake of Bellator’s deal with Viacom and subsequent behavior pertaining to the contractual status of lightweight Eddie Alvarez.

White was asked about the potential of signing Ben Askren after the post-event press conference for UFC Fight Night 27, saying he has concerns about how free the Bellator welterweight champ is to actually sign for a stint in the Octagon based on how Alvarez was treated.

Bjorn Rebney‘s a scumbag,” said White matter-of-factly of Bellator’s CEO in a conversation captured by MMAJunkie. “The guy says, ‘Yeah, we’re going to let him go. Let’s just part ways.’ You ain’t f*cking parting ways with him. He’s got a matching right and all that bullsh*t. This guy is a fucking typical boxing piece of sh*t. Everybody knows the guy is a scumbag.”

“We’ll see what happens with Ben. First they say they’re going to let him go. They’re not going to let him go. They’ll probably end up suing him too and make him sit out and lose a bunch of money and f*ck him in a deal,” he continued, alluding to Alvarez’s situation. “Bad guys. They’re bad guys.”

In case there was any confusion, White went on to mention Alvarez by name, saying Bellator’s approach to free agency is really a smokescreen for undercutting talent.

“He had the opportunity to go out there and find out what he’s worth, yet he didn’t get what he’s worth,” explained White of Alvarez. “He’s f*cking (Askren). He’s doing the same thing he did to Eddie. He’s not letting him really go out and get a fair – do you really think honestly, everyone here, do you think that if Eddie Alvarez did a deal with us, that Eddie Alvarez wouldn’t have made a lot of money? Hector Lombard did. Hector Lombard got paid.”

Lombard is a former Bellator middleweight champ signed to a lucrative deal upon his departure from the company.

Bellator officials have yet to respond to White’s comments. However, more is sure to come of the conflict brewing between the sides based on past examples involving promotions crossing the UFC’s path.

7 COMMENTS
  • SBERG says:

    Bang goes the dynamite!!!!!…..People might dislike Dana for being opinionated but the man ain’t afraid to let it fly….Go Dana!!! LOL…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    This ongoing duel between Bellator and the UFC is pretty rich. Bjorn is making life difficult for Dana & Co. so in typical Dana form he’s lashing out.

    First the Lombard thing. Dana’s quote from the article: “Lombard got paid.”

    Yes he did. Bellator had invested in Lombard long before the UFC ever did, providing a platform where he was able to make a big name for himself as he put together a very lengthy winning streak. Although Bellator had the right to match (i.e. protect their investment), the UFC flexed its financial muscles and blew Bellator out of the water. You know Dana had a big ol shit-eating grin on his mug when that went down, while Bjorn was left to watch the guy they helped turn into a star head over to the UFC.

    But hey, that’s business.

    Ah, if only it were that simple. The deal came back to bit the UFC in a few ways. First, they essentially outbid themselves. By offering a huge signing bonus (reportedly $400K), along with a hefty fight purse (reportedly starting at $300K per fight), they beat out Bellator while escalating their own pay scale (as other fighters & their camps eventually learn these details, thanks in part to Bjorn willingly leaking info). And to top it off, Lombard has been a major disappointment in the Octagon.

    So who really won that round? I’d say the only winner was Lombard, who did indeed get paid. A lot.

    So next was Eddie Alvarez. The UFC, lessons learned from the Lombard deal, came in with a more measured offer. Once again details of the offer would leak, making life difficult for the UFC (anybody remember UFC champ Benson Henderson–upon learning what the UFC had offered Alvarez– taking to Twitter with his gripes about pay? Yeah, that was quickly quieted with a pay raise from the UFC, despite the fact Benson’s contract wasn’t up). But it seemed that the UFC’s guarantee that included the double-whammy of an immediate title shot (this went against Bellator’s tourney format) *and* a cut of PPV earnings (everybody knew Bellator wasn’t in the PPV biz) would spell doom for Bellator. But with more reasonable financial terms this time around, Bellator stayed in the game and wasn’t going to go down with a fight. They were willing to take their argument to court to let a mediator make the final call, and Eddie wisely waved the white flag and worked things out to stay on board. Dana being Dana, he bitched & moaned a little bit but there was really nothing he could do once Bellator opted to match the offer the UFC put out there.

    And so now we move on to Ben Askren.

    So this time around Bjorn is acting like they aren’t particularly interested in even playing that game. Checking to UFC to let them make a move, while of course knowing that Bellator is sitting on the button & gets to make the last play. So yeah, of course it’s probably a bluff, but by keeping their cards close to the vest they’re giving away no information for the UFC to use when putting together their offer. The UFC is basically in the dark, and left to decide what to do with Funky. Come in too low and Bellator will say “thanks!” while matching the offer & having the next WW tourney winner challenge him for his belt. Come in too high and the UFC runs the risk of outbidding themselves (again), and doing so for a guy who–fair or not–is currently known for having a boring style of fighting that many fans don’t want to watch. So…how will the UFC respond? Beyond Dana’s predictable f-bombs and personal attacks, it’ll be interesting to see how the UFC chooses to attack this little riddle.

    At the end of the day, this type of competition is fantastic for the fighters. Without Bellator, Ben Askren would have to drive his crappy Honda (or borrow Nick’s) to show up at the UFC’s doorstep and take whatever they offer. With competition, the UFC sends a limo and has to make him a more generous offer that is based on actual market demand/competition. It’s a beautiful thing, and not difficult to see why it would rile up a promoter like Dana White.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • darth_irritable says:

    Hi Pot, this is Kettle. How you doing?

    Hypocrisy aside, Dana’s right. I’m struggling to think of a time when the UFC shit all over a fighter the way Bellator did Eddie.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • SBERG says:

    Richard you make valid points but your seem to be giving Bellator to much credit for being in the same ballpark as UFC. In no way shape or form can Bellator hang with UFC financially even with Viacom backing them. So what if they’re driving up the salary of fighters, good for the fighters . That part was bound to happen eventually with or without Bellator’s supposed influence. Either way as the market grows Bellator will become swallowed by it. Again they’re not anywhere in the same league as UFC financially.
    If they have to start paying all their fighters what UFC is paying they’re done. UFC has the financial backing and no how to absorb “mistakes” like the Lombard situation without blinking a eye. Bellator doesn’t have that luxury. As I stated in another post -NO ONE FIGHTER IS BIGGER THAN THE UFC BRAND. When GSP, Anderson , Jones,Cain and such move on more will be groomed to take their place. This is why UFC is where they are now. Not too long ago Chuck, Brock and Randy were the cream of the crop…They’re gone now and the UFC is rolling along just fine…..And will continue to do so with or without Askren or Alvarez.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • SBERG says:

    Meant to say ‘know how” up there somewhere…lol

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    No way is Bellator in the same ballpark as the UFC. That’s part of the reason it’s a little absurd to me that a peon like Bellator can come even close to matching what the UFC pays its fighters. It’s sort of like the Arena Football League paying its athletes on par with the NFL… one generates far greater revenue and has far greater resources than the other, so it just doesn’t add up.

    In reality the UFC should be able to blow Bellator out of the water any time it wants. But the UFC also doesn’t want to jerk with their own system/structure too much, as they have a really good thing going for them. The UFC generates a ton of revenue… it’s a freaking billion dollar company that Fertitta has claimed is more valuable than the NY Yankees, Dallas Cowboys or any other pro sports franchise. And yet, they turn around and give the fighters a small chunk of the pie. They can get away with doing that, because MMA is still in its relative infancy, the UFC was the first org to burst thru to the mainstream, and so they’re still largely creating their own rules.

    Ah hell, I’m getting off topic and rambling as I tend to do. The UFC is the top dog, but Bellator seems to be doing just fine for themselves (and making life more difficult for the UFC than Dana & the boys would like). When it comes to a head with some of these fighter negotiations, things have been pretty interesting. But like I said, at the end of the day it’s driving up fighter pay so that’s the most important thing from my POV.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • SBERG says:

    Look we’re both on the same page with this aside from a few little tidbits. My view on Bellator is more of a fly that keeps buzzing around your face till you smack it hard enough to kill it or convince it to fly elsewhere. Eddie ended up with a bad deal…Yes Bellator matched the particulars of UFC’s deal but in no way can they deliver the revenue that he would have commanded over the life of the deal with UFC. Adding him to the PPV was a joke. The money wont be there. Same is going to happen to Askren if he ends up being matched.
    This is where Bellator fails….Yes they’re upping the ante in some way to fighters salary’s but at what expense? As I stated UFC can absorb Over payed contracts with no problem. Bellator can’t absorb higher salary’s for fighters they keep. The money coming in doesn’t warrant that. The reputation of the organization as a whole is taking a bigtime hit…again they can’t afford that either. Iv’e stated before that other potential fighters will start to steer clear of Bellator because of the way things are apparently going and hope they can make it to UFC through other means. And now you throw in the Tito and Rampage thing and this is starting to smell like Affliction all over again.
    I believe that at some point , maybe not soon but not far off, that UFC just buys Bellator out. I know Viacom is a issue but they’ll be willing to unload if things continue going south. Alot is going to ride on this PPV for them. If this thing nose dives as hard as alot expect it too we could see another shift in the MMA landscape.

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