09-06-2012, 10:10 AM
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| | Bellator's Rebney looking forward to Spike, but excited for Season 7 'rock stars'
Bellator's Rebney looking forward to Spike, but excited for Season 7 'rock stars' | MMAjunkie.com
Bellator Fighting Championship in January makes the big move from MTV2 to Spike TV. |
Given that Spike has a much larger potential audience, is a more natural home for MMA than a music station and is easier to find on cable and satellite systems, it's easy to understand Bellator's excitement.
But that doesn't mean the upcoming Season 7 on MTV2 is a throwaway, a season with a case of senioritis just waiting to graduate to Spike.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has a plan in mind for the upcoming seventh season. He hopes the 12 shows, starting with Bellator 74 on Sept. 28, churn out the promotion's next crop of superstars.
After all, most of Bellator's champions – like Eduardo Dantas (bantamweight), Pat Curran (featherweight), Michael Chandler (lightweight) – were relative unknowns not long before winning their belts.
"There's obviously a big push behind getting over to Spike," Rebney said. "But still, Season 7 has got some rock stars in it. My hope from Season 7 is we come out of it and we find the next Chandler, the next Curran, the next (Ben) Askren.
"When Chandler first started and he was going against Marcin Held in the lightweight tournament, nobody knew who he was. And suddenly, three months later, everyone's getting ready for the Eddie Alvarez fight. That's what we hope to accomplish in this season – to introduce some guys and then 90 days later people go, 'Whoa – I can't wait to see him fight (Paul) Daley, (Ben) Saunders, (Douglas) Lima.'"
And for that very reason, Rebney and Bellator held back some big name welterweight talent like the aforementioned Daley, Saunders and Lima when setting up its Season 7 170-pound tournament.
WIth those big names not in the field, new talent gets a chance to make a name.
"We looked at Season 7 and said, OK, we're kicking off on Spike. There's this group of guys who have just recently fought for us in tournaments – the Limas, the Saunders, we had just signed Daley," Rebney told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com). "We took a lot of the guys who just fought and said, 'We'll got you on Spike, and maybe get you one fight in the interim.'
"But we just stacked this tournament coming up this fall with the new guys. … There are a lot of those diamonds in the rough you think could potentially polish."
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