Bellator 75 takes place this Friday in Hammond, Ind., where the promotion will kick off its latest heavyweight tournament.

Ahead of his organization’s seventh season, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Cheap Seats” show to discuss his fighters, heavyweights, contracts and more.

On heavyweights to watch: “If [Thiago] Santos can get his weight under control, and that’s an unknown -- if we see a week from Thursday, if Santos gets on the scale and can hit 265, we’ve got a really, really top-tier heavyweight on our hands. His submission game off his back, his jiu-jitsu is amazing. He’s been working on his wrestling. He’s been training with [Ricardo] Liborio down in south Florida. The guy’s got it, allegedly, all together. We’ll see. ... We’ve got some other heavyweights up and coming in this division. You’re going to see some of those guys. You’re going to see the [Alexander] Volkovs of the world, who’s [6-foot-8], coming out of Russia, who’s been knocking people out. There’s some big, exciting heavyweights.”

On whether Bellator should promote a heavyweight division: “You’ve got to keep developing. I’ve never felt like you could have a large-scale international fight promotion reaching, at this point, close to 90 countries around the world and not have a heavyweight division. We’re vested in it. We’ve been recruiting top guys. ... It’ll get there. We could have said the same thing about our 185-pound division when Hector [Lombard] sat up top, but ultimately look at the 185-pound division now and it’s just rock solid. We’ve got guys right and left. We’re going to do the same thing at heavy.”

On a welterweight to watch in the upcoming season: “If you’re looking for a welterweight, keep your eyes on [Andrey] Koreshkov. This guy is a monster out of Russia. He’s fought for us three times now. He’s a beast. He comes out of the Alexander Shlemenko school of mixed martial arts fighting. It’s all knees and elbows and spinning back fists, but he’s got a great game on the ground as well.”

On Bellator’s contracts and whether recent criticism could discourage fighters from signing with the promotion: “Ultimately contracts are very, very standard fare in this industry. They’re extremely similar whether you look at them with Bellator, Zuffa or whether you look at them at any other organization in the space.”

On what Bellator offers fighters that other promotions do not: “I think ultimately we offer a different model. We offer a model where guys have got an opportunity to make a great deal in very short order. It gives them a very, very short timeframe that they go through to be able to become known. We have a much quicker maturation process under the Bellator banner.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 59:45).

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator 158: London Weigh-in Results and Video

  • 12 days ago
  • 105 views

The official weigh-ins for “Bellator 158: London” took place on Friday in front of a packed house at the Café de Paris in Leicester Square. read news >>

Joe Taimanglo Plans to Secure His Place as 135-Pound Contender at Bellator 159

  • 8 days ago
  • 7 views

Joe Taimanglo looks for his fourth straight win when he takes on undefeated prospect Darrion Caldwell in a 135-pound main event at Bellator 159 on July 22. read news >>

Darrion Caldwell Predicts Three-Minute Win Over Joe Taimanglo at Bellator 159

  • 7 days ago
  • 7 views

Undefeated Darrion Caldwell returns to the Bellator cage on July 22 in to take on the most experience fighter he’s faced in Joe Taimanglo in a 135-pound main event. read news >>

Watch the Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo Weigh-In Video, Live at 6p ET

  • 6 days ago
  • 10 views

Watch the Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo weigh-ins live on MMAWeekly.com, Thursday at 6pm ET / 3pm PT. read news >>

Emmanuel Sanchez Hoping For Bellator Title Shot If He Defeats Daniel Weichel

  • 6 days ago
  • 3 views

Emmanuel Sanchez will look to pick up his fourth win in-a-row when he takes on veteran Daniel Weichel at Bellator 159 on July 22 in Mulvane, Kansas. read news >>

Cris Cyborg to UFC: ‘I Deserve My Own Division; Women Deserve Equal Opportunity’

  • 6 days ago
  • 28 views

Cris "Cyborg" Justino believes she has earned the right to a UFC featherweight division, calls for equal opportunity for women to compete in the Octagon. read news >>

Dave Rickels ‘Super-Confident’ Heading into Bellator 159 Co-Main Event Against Melvin Guillard

  • 5 days ago
  • 10 views

Dave Rickels will look to pick up his second straight victory when he takes on Melvin Guillard in the Bellator 159 co-main event in Mulvane, Kansas, on July 22. read news >>

UFC on FOX 20 Weigh-in Results: Holm vs. Shevchenko Gets the Green Light

  • 5 days ago
  • 43 views

The UFC on FOX 20 early weigh-ins took place Friday morning in Chicago, where all the fighters left on the card made weight. read news >>

Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo Prelims LIVE Stream at 6:45 pm ET on MMAWeekly.com

  • 5 days ago
  • 15 views

Watch the Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo preliminary bouts LIVE STREAM on MMAWeekly.com on Friday at 6:45 p.m. ET. read news >>

Bellator 159 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Caldwell vs. Taimanglo Card

  • 5 days ago
  • 27 views

"Baby" Joe Taimanglo has pulled the latest major upset in MMA. On Friday night in Mulvane, Kansas, the Guamanian knocked off Darrion Caldwell in the main event of Bellator 159 with a stunning third-r read news >>