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

After UFC on FOX 22 loss, Sage Northcutt again changing divisions

  • 28 days ago
  • 61 views

Sage Northcutt is returning to the division where his UFC career began in such promising fashion.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2347 with Urijah Faber and Muhammed Lawal

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Stream or download Monday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Urijah Faber and Muhammed Lawal.Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC read news >>

Bellator 169 video highlights: Watch taunt master 'King Mo' get back on track in Dublin

  • 27 days ago
  • 22 views

After a loss in a title eliminator against Phil Davis earlier this year, Muhammed Lawal needed to get back in the win column in a big way. Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie Rankings, Dec. 20: Wineland back to winning ways

  • 27 days ago
  • 6 views

This past weekend saw both UFC and Bellator host prospect-filled events, but one wily veteran was impressive enough to make a move in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings.Filed under: Bellator read news >>

Verbal agreements in place for Mark Hunt vs. Alistair Overeem at UFC 209

  • 27 days ago
  • 35 views

A heavyweight clash featuring two veterans of the sport is in the works for UFC 209.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Bellator's 'King Mo' Lawal expects to meet Amir Aliakbari in Rizin FF tournament final

  • 26 days ago
  • 9 views

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal is suddenly a very busy man, but that’s the way he likes it. Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Since loss, Ronda Rousey finds division she dominated cursed but compelling

  • 26 days ago
  • 25 views

The last time Ronda Rousey stepped into the octagon the UFC’s bantamweight division was still a one-woman show, now it is the organization’s most cursed – and most compelling – title.Filed under: New read news >>

Bellator 169 Fight Highlights: King Mo Takes the Win Over Satoshi Ishii | MMAWeekly.com

  • 26 days ago
  • 13 views

Check out some of the best moments of Bellator 169 in Dublin, Ireland, where King Mo Lawal got the better of Satoshi Ishii in the main event. read news >>

Jon Fitch: Bjorn Rebney would be 'stealing millions of dollars' from athletes with lawsuit settlement

  • 25 days ago
  • 12 views

WSOF champ Jon Fitch has long been an advocate for reforming MMA and the way its athletes are treated. But when it comes to the most recent public push in the fighters’ associations front, the recent read news >>

Video: Watch Chael Sonnen beat Tito Ortiz in 44 seconds ... in a 1998 wrestling match

  • 24 days ago
  • 2844 views

When Chael Sonnen and Tito Ortiz face off at Bellator 170, it won’t be their first time meeting in athletic competition.Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>